Ankle Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

What is Ankle Arthritis?

Ankle arthritis refers to wearing out the articular cartilage of the joint. The most common form is osteoarthritis (breakdown of cartilage in the joints, leading to bone to bone contact). Arthritis can produce ankle swelling and pain and in severe cases it can cause loss of function.

 

What are Some Causes of Ankle Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis ( wear and tear / degenerative joint disease / age related) (most common)
  • Rheumatological conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Traumatic (due to fracture that affected the joint)
  • Gouty arthropathy (Gout attack of the joint)

 

What are the Symptoms of Ankle Arthritis

  • Tenderness or pain with palpation around the joint
  • Stiffness of the ankle joint
  • swelling around the joint
  • Reduced range of motion of the joint
  • Pain with walking or bearing weight
  • Grinding of the joint (creptius)

 

How is Ankle Arthritis Diagnosed

  • Usually simple X-rays will reveal the presence of joint arthritis
  • Bone scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • CT scan

 

What are Some Conservative Treatment Options:

  • Weight Control is very important
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling in the joint
  • Pain relievers to control the pain
  • Inserts / Orthotics that support the foot shopping cart
  • Brace to provide support and limit motion shopping cart
  • Rocker bottom shoes shopping cart
  • Physical therapy
  • Cane for gait stability and support shopping cart
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Topical pain relieving gel shopping cart

 

What are Surgical Treatments Options:

Surgical intervention may be required if conservative treatments have failed. The following are some of the surgical options for ankle osteoarthritis:

  • Ankle Fusion surgery. This kind of surgery, also called ankle arthrodesis, involves fusing bones together (tibia and talus) with the use of pins, screws, plates or rods. After healing, the bones remain fused together (no more motion to ankle joint)
  • Joint replacement surgery. This kind of surgery involves replacing the ankle joint (ankle implant) with artificial implants and is used only in rare cases due to its high failure rate.

 

 

Images:

Ankle Arthritis
Ankle Arthritis

Ankle Fusion
Ankle Fusion

Total Ankle Implant
Total Ankle Implant