Foot problems are highly prevalent in people with rheumatoid arthritis. This study aims to explore the foot morphology, pain and function in rheumatoid arthritis patients and the relation with the time of disease debut. A cross-sectional study was designed. Footprint, the Foot Posture Index, the hallux valgus prevalence, foot pain and function in 66 rheumatoid arthritis patients and the association with time since diagnosis, were recorded. The Foot Function Index, the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index, the Visual Analogic Scale, and the Manchester Scale for hallux valgus were administered and analyzed in two groups, with less and more than 10 years of diagnosis of the disease. A high prevalence of pronated (right 36.8% and left 38.6%) and highly pronated (right 15.8% and left 15.8%) feet was observed, as well as an elevated percentage of low arched footprints (right 68.4 and left 66.7%) and hallux valgus (right 59.6% and left 54.4%). Hallux valgus prevalence, toe deformities and Foot Function Index (Functional limitation) factors were significantly associated with the time since RA diagnosed adjusted for the other factors. The adjusted odds ratio of Hallux valgus prevalence was 4.9 (1.2-19.7). In addition, the foot function was diminished, and foot pain was present in most participants. In conclusion, rheumatoid arthritis patients' feet showed altered morphology and function, and with longer rheumatoid arthritis history, metatarsophalangical stability and foot function, but not pain and global foot posture, were likely to deteriorate.
Keywords: disability evaluation; flatfoot; foot deformities; rheumatoid arthritis.