At A Glance:
Osteoarthritis is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage of the ankle joint. The cartilage thins out and becomes roughened that leads to pain on movement, stiffness and inflammation of the ankle. While there is no treatment to replace the cartilage, many people respond well to non-surgical treatments. However, in severe cases, surgery may be needed to provide a pain-free joint.
- Pain in the ankle.
- Increased pain and swelling with activities.
- Reduced ability to move, walk, put weight on the foot.
- Stiffness in the ankle.
- Swelling in the ankle.
- Pain with motion.
The most common cause of ankle arthritis is previous injuries that have either damaged the joint or cartilage directly or has altered the normal function of the ankle.
- Ankle fractures.
- Repeated ankle sprains.
- Ankle ligament injuries leading to instability.
- Malunion of tibia fractures.
Primary arthritis, without a known cause, is uncommon unlike in the hip or knee joints.
Although there is no cure for arthritis, some treatments can help alleviate the pain and discomfort.
Nonsurgical methods to treat ankle arthritis include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- An ankle brace can help support the joint.
- A walking aid like a cane or crutch.
- Physical therapy.
- Customised shoes.
- Weight loss.
If you have tried these methods and fail to see results, surgical methods may be an option for you.
Speak to your orthpaedic surgeon about your case and what surgery option may be best suited for you.
Surgical methods of treating ankle arthritis include: