Ankle Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 24. May 2016 06:30

The human foot comprises of 28 bones and 30 joints which enable it to move, stabilize the body and absorb external shocks. The bones are further supported by strong tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage and fluid filled lining called the synovium. Degeneration of the bones, cartilage and other constituent parts of the joint may lead to Ankle Arthritis. There are three main types of Arthritis that may affect the ankle joint.

  • Osteoarthritis- It is a painful condition caused due to wearing out of the protective cartilage with age. It causes the bones to rub against each other and may lead to the development of bone spurs.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis- injuries that cause severe damage to the joint surfaces may lead to the development of Arthritis over the years
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis- It is a chronic condition which occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues.  It characteristically affects both the joints at the same time


  • Genetic factors
  • Obesity
  • Infections that may lead to auto-immune disorders
  • Ageing
  • Direct injury or trauma to the joint
  • Stretching or tearing of ligaments and tendons
  • Post-surgical effects
  • Ankle dislocation or fractures


  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Pain which may aggravate during movement and weight bearing
  • Visibly deformed joint
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Change in gait and posture
  • The joint may feel tender when pressed
  • Redness and warmth


  • Detailed clinical evaluation of the affected joint
  • Analysis of gait and range of motion
  • Assessment of patient’s medical history and previous ankle injuries
  • X-ray imaging may be done to check bone placement and structure
  • CT scan and MRI may help diagnose soft tissue and ligament damage
  • Blood tests may be recommended to diagnose the type of Arthritis


  • Avoiding any activity that aggravates discomfort
  • Performing exercises that strengthen the supporting muscles
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed to relieve pain
  • Physical therapy may help to improve flexibility of the joint
  • Use of ankle-foot orthosis or a removable brace to provide support to the joint
  • Walking stick may be used to avoid weight bearing
  • Arthroscopic Debridement to remove bone spurs or damaged cartilage and synovium
  • Arthroplasty- surgical replacement of the ankle joint with an artificial implant
  • Arthrodesis or surgical fusion of the bones using pins, screws and rods to restrict movement between them and reduce pain

Dr. Heier provides complete diagnosis and treatment for Ankle Arthritis. To schedule an appointment with the foot and ankle specialist in Carrollton, TX, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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