Know more about Ankle Joint Arthritis – Its types, treatment, and symptoms
Do you have ankle pain due to ankle arthritis?
Ankle arthritis is the loss of cartilage lining the ankle joint and usually occurs slowly over a period of years. The most common cause is a previous injury, but in some patients it may occur as part of a more widespread process such as rheumatoid arthritis, haemophilia or gout. There is a narrowing of the ankle joint space between the tibia (lower leg bone) and the talus (ankle bone) due to the cartilage loss and bony outgrowths or spurs known as osteophytes develop around the joint space. In addition to pain, patients may notice that the ankle swells and feels warm. They may feel grinding or popping, and the ankle may be stiff particularly in the morning or at the beginning of activity.
Types of arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis is arthritis that develops following an injury. This condition may develop years after a trauma such as a fracture, dislocation, or even severe sprains (ligament tears).
- Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, most often occurs in older people. This disease affects cartilage, the tissue that cushions and protects the ends of the bones in a joint.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system (the body’s mechanism for fighting infection) attacks healthy joints and soft tissues, causing an inflammation (arthropathy). It can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in joints.
Ankle arthritis can be classified as:
- Primary Ankle Arthritis – indicates that there is no known underlying cause as to why the arthritis has developed.
- Secondary Ankle Arthritis – the most reason for someone developing ankle arthritis is having a previous injury, or injuries, to the ankle joint. This can either be a previous ankle bony fracture (‘break’), or previous ankle sprains. Secondary damage occurs to the joint surface and with time, irreversible arthritis occurs.
Treatment of foot and ankle arthritis
Some treatments include:
- orthotics, such as insoles with certain supports, pads or posts
- shoe-wear modifications
- weight loss.
Surgery may be necessary if your symptoms don’t improve with more conservative treatments. Surgery performed for arthritis of the foot and ankle broadly falls into three categories: joint preserving surgery, joint replacement, and joint fusion.
The symptoms of ankle arthritis vary based on the severity of the joint surface damage, and the functional level of the individual. Classically pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty walking are present. During the early phases of the condition, the pain may be limited to exercise, or only present at the extreme of ankle motion.
Are you suffering from these symptoms? One of our podiatrist can assist and give the right treatment for your condition.
We hope you have a feettastic day!☀️
-The Chelsea Clinic and Team