Arthritis is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases. "Arthritis" means "joint inflammation." When it affects joints of the foot it can produce swelling and pain, and may eventually result in deformity, loss of joint function, and decreased ability to walk.

The most common form of foot arthritis is osteoarthritis. For more information on this topic, read "Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle."

Similar symptoms may be caused by another form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis that affects the joint of the big toe is known as "hallux rigidus."