Can ankylosing spondylitis of the foot cause disability?

Ankylosing spondylitis can cause disability of the foot. Ankylosing spondylitiis is primarily a disorder with an inflammatory arthritis of the spine, but that inflammatory arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the foot. The arthritis in ankylosing spondylitis is similar to the pathological processes seen in rheumatoid arthritis, but is usually not as severe in the peripheral joints. Heel pain (plantar fasciitis), enthesitis (inflammation of the ligament insertions) and an inflammation of the midfoot joints are reasonably common in the foot of those with ankylosing spondylitis. That pain can cause a reasonable amount of disability and impairment. The pain in the foot is often hard to treat due to the systemic nature of the condition and can be resistant to local treatment measures.

Also, as ankylosing spondylitis affects the spine, especially the lower back resulting in quite a bit of stiffness and disability in the back, so it can be hard to reach the feet. This then poses problems for foot self care, looking after the feet and this can also result in further disability that may need regular care from a podiatrist.

So, yes, ankylosing spondylitis of the foot can cause disability.

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