Ankylosing spondylitis can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and an inflammatory arthritis of the joints in the foot, especially the midfoot joints. It also affect gait, or the way you walk which can also lead to additional problems elsewhere.
Ankylosing spondylitis is primarily an inflammatory arthritis of the joints in the spine. It can affect all joints in the body and that includes the foot. The arthritis that it causes is similar to the arthritis that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis, but tends not to be as destructive. The heel pain that it can cause is where the plantar fascia ‘ligament’ attaches to the heel bone. This creates what is called an ethesitis.
The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis in the foot tend to track similar to the other symptoms and have flare ups when they do and respond well to the systemic medication that is used to treat the disorder.
In addition to directly causing pain in the feet, because of the substantial involvement of the spine in ankylosing spondylitis, it does make it more difficult to reach the feet to look after them. This complicates all foot problems if you can not look after them.