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Pain in the feet is an important diagnostic feature and a major management problem of rheumatoid arthritis. Of 50 hospitalized patients, 28% recalled painful feet as the sole presenting symptom of their disease.
Rheumatoid disease commonly affects the feet: 90% of the patients studied complained of foot pain at some time during the course of their disease, 86% had clinical involvement and 92% had radiological changes in their feet.
The forefoot is most frequently involved. Midfoot involvement was noted in 68% but was symptomatic in only 22%. Changes in the ankle were least common but always symptomatic.