Data on foot and ankle osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can affect any of the joints in the foot, although the joint between the big toe and foot is mostly likely to be affected.
Osteoarthritis of the foot can cause pain and joint stiffness, and can be linked to changes in foot shape and posture which can lead to further wear of the foot joints. Some people develop painful swellings known as bunions.
Arthritis of the foot and ankle can making walking difficult and, together with a fear of falling, can restrict social lives and relationships.
How many people have osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle?
One in five people who have sought treatment for osteoarthritis have it in the foot or ankle. In the UK, this means:
1.77 million people*
7% of people aged 45 and over*
9% of people aged 75 years and over.*
Women are slightly more likely than men to have sought treatment.
Figure 1 – The estimated number of people in the UK who have sought treatment for osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle, by gender and age group
Figure 2 – The estimated proportion of people in the UK who have sought treatment for osteoarthritis of the foot and ankle, by gender and age group
*Data from GPs consultations can be used to estimate the number of people living with osteoarthritis of the foot. To produce these figures the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre analysed data recorded in the Consultations in Primary Care Archive (CiPCA) about the number of people who have sought treatment from their GP for osteoarthritis over a seven year period.
For further information please download our guide
Osteoarthritis in general practice (PDF 4.2 MB). Back to Osteoarthritis