Ankle Arthritis – Definition and Causes
Ankle arthritis commonly results from a history of trauma to the ankle. Traumatic injuries such as ankle fractures may damage the joint structure or create malalignment leading to arthritis. Another reason which can lead to this condition is biomechanical imbalance.
The ankle cartilage, which is supposed to be a smooth gliding surface, becomes eroded, coarse and stiff. Also, the ankle joint can become enlarged and full of bone spurs.
However ankle arthritis may develop from other causes, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or because of a serious joint infection.
The ankle joint is responsible for up and down motion of the foot. It’s made up of two leg bones and one foot bone. This condition leads to pain and swelling in the ankle joint.
Symptoms of Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis can be painful while interferes with everyday life. The symptoms involve pain, swelling, stiffness and enlargement of the ankle.
Standing and walking often make these symptoms worst. Patients with severe ankle arthritis experience limited ankle motion and may have a grinding sound every time they move their ankle joint. Furthermore, in more advanced cases, the ankle joint develops bone spurs.
- Weight loss and activity modification, because they’re limiting the amount of loading through the ankle joint.
- Anti-inflammatory and pain medications are also important, while they control the symptoms.
- Ankle bracing and proper rocker-bottom shoewear, which can help to decrease ankle joint movement.
Surgery for Ankle Arthritis
Common operative treatments include:
- Exostectomy, a procedure which reduces pain and increases range of motion by removing the arthritic bone spurs.
- Arthroscopic Debridement, where cleaning out (debriding) the ankle joint is a good choice, if the ankle arthritis is not severe.
- Ankle Fusion, a procedure where the arthritic ankle joint is removed and the bones are mended (fused) together, which is ideal for patients with severe arthritis.
- Ankle replacement is an artificial replacement of the ankle joint. Furthermore, it may be an ideal option for older patients who are not excessively active.