Living with an arthritic ankle condition is not life-threatening, however, it can greatly limit a person’s daily comfort and mobility. The term arthritis is defined as inflammation that involves irritation and swelling in and around the body’s joints and soft tissue, which can result in extreme pain and stiffness.
Learn more about ankle arthritis, the symptoms and sensations you may experience, and how Comprehensive Foot Specialists in Huntington, NY, uses our expertise to diagnose and treat arthritic ankles.
Ankle arthritis is a medical condition that occurs when the joint that connects the foot to the leg (known as the tibiotalar or ankle joint) has been damaged, injured, or worn down. The three bones involved in the joint include the tibia (shin), the fibula (calf), and the talus (ankle), and arthritis can affect any or all of these bones. It is most common for arthritis to cause severe pain around the ankle joint, but other symptoms may include:
Arthritic ankles can occur as a result of many different factors, including:
The most common cause of ankle arthritis is previous injury to the ankle. Enduring ankle injuries can result in damage to the cartilage, which accelerates arthritis. An additional cause of arthritic ankles can be rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint inflammation and weakens the cartilage. Being overweight is also a risk factor, being that more weight causes greater tension on the ankle joints, which can damage the cartilage and trigger arthritis.
To diagnose ankle arthritis, the doctor will examine the ankle for swelling and observe the range of motion, while confirming if the patient is experiencing any pain. Usually, the doctor will order an X-ray of the ankle to further examine if the gap between the bones is narrow or not, which can indicate lost cartilage, or if the X-ray exhibits a bone spur, which is a sign of arthritis. For certain situations, doctors may utilize additional imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to take pictures of the inside of the joint, or a CT scan, to create detailed images of the ankle.
It is difficult to predict the exact progression of arthritic ankle symptoms. Initial steps in treatment may include weight reduction and activity modification to decrease the pressure and load on the ankle joint. However, if these adjustments alone are not successful, over-the-counter pain medications are used. If pain continues to prevail, the next steps include bracing and possible corticosteroid-injections. When all else fails, the next options are surgical treatment. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, age, activity level, degree of arthritis, and addition of foot/leg deformity, surgery may range from an arthroscopic (minimally-invasive procedure) to an ankle fusion. In addition, here at Comprehensive Foot Specialists, we specialize in total ankle replacements. This treatment includes replacing the ankle joint with hardware to provide continued range of motion and alleviate pain altogether in the ankle joint.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, we provide the best treatment for a large variety of foot conditions, including ankle arthritis. Our team of podiatrists is certified in Total Ankle Replacement (TAR), which is an advanced ankle procedure used to adjust and correct problems with the ankle, as well as restore comfort and the full range of motion for the patient. Our team of knowledgeable experts treats our patients at our conveniently located office in Huntington, NY. Stop living with arthritic ankle pain and get the care you deserve by contacting us today.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, our expert physicians are dedicated to treating a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions so you can live comfortably, 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!Book an Appointment