Ankle arthritis is a painful condition that affects the ankle joint. In a healthy ankle, rubbery material called cartilage covers the bones and helps them to slide smoothly against each other. Ankle arthritis occurs when this layer of cartilage is damaged or breaks down and the bones in the ankle grind together.
What Causes Ankle Arthritis?
The most common cause of ankle arthritis is ‘wear and tear’ damage to the joint cartilage. This often occurs with age. A sudden or traumatic injury such as a broken bone or torn ligament can also cause the ankle joint to become arthritic. In some instances, an inflammatory, auto-immune disease (rheumatoid arthritis) can attack the lining of the body’s joints and cause ankle arthritis as a result.
A number of factors are known to contribute to ankle arthritis. These include:
Having a joint injury
Undertaking activities which place extra stress on the shoulder
Shoulder arthritis often develops slowly over several years, however, occasionally, it may also be the result of a joint that has not formed properly.
Ankle Arthritis Symptoms
Symptoms of ankle arthritis include;
A limited range of motion
A sensation of grinding within the joint
Difficulty walking, running or standing
Stiffness in the ankle
A sharp stabbing pain or dull ache
Diagnosing Ankle Arthritis
Your GP or our South Coast Orthopaedic specialist doctors can diagnose ankle arthritis. This is usually done through a blood test, x-ray, and sometimes an MRI scan.
Ankle Arthritis treatment
Non-surgical treatments are usually recommended for early stage ankle arthritis. These include; weight loss, activity modification, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections and joint supplements such as glucosamine.
Surgery for Ankle Arthritis
If conservative treatments do not relieve your pain, our South Coast Orthopaedic doctor may recommend surgery. Most surgeries for ankle arthritis aim to:
Restore your quality of life
The most common types of surgery for ankle arthritis include
Ankle Arthroscopy: in early stages to remove scarred ligaments and impinging bony spurs.
Ankle Fusion Surgery: in which the damaged part of the ankle is removed and prepared bony surfaces are fused to make one bone across ankle joint.
Providing orthopaedic services to the South Coast NSW for over 30 years.