Capsulitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the capsule surrounding a joint, which can cause pain and restricted movement. The joint capsule is a fibrous structure that encloses and supports the joint, and is made up of collagen fibers and synovial tissue.
Capsulitis can occur in any joint of the body, but it most commonly affects the joints of the foot, particularly the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint of the big toe. It can also occur in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and knee.
The exact cause of capsulitis is not always clear, but it is believed to be related to a combination of factors, including trauma, overuse, abnormal foot mechanics, and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. People with certain risk factors, such as flat feet or high arches, are also more prone to developing capsulitis.
Symptoms of capsulitis may include pain and tenderness around the affected joint, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving the joint. In some cases, the pain may be severe enough to make weight-bearing activities difficult or impossible.
Treatment for capsulitis depends on the severity of the condition, but may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, orthotic devices, and in severe cases, surgery. In many cases, early intervention can help to prevent long-term complications and improve the overall outcome.