Ankle Arthritis

What is Ankle Arthritis?

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:
  • Being overweight
  • Getting older
  • 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
  • Swelling

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
  • Relieve pain
  • Relieve pain
  • Relieve pain
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.