Ankle arthritis can lead to pain and swelling, causing deformity and instability of the ankle joints. If not treated, it could cause severe damage and worn cartilage of the ankle joint.
Luckily, there are ways to find relief from ankle arthritis with the help of a foot and ankle doctor in Phoenix.
Signs of Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis isn’t always something that you know you have right away. It can take time to diagnose, but there are some common symptoms to be on the lookout for.
– Tenderness when touching the ankle joint
– Pain when moving the ankle
– Trouble walking due to instability of the ankle
– Trouble putting weight on the ankle due to pain and swelling
Other symptoms include stiffness, making it hard to move your ankle when first waking up or after being seated for long periods of time.
What Causes Ankle Arthritis?
Ankle arthritis can be caused by an ankle fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or degenerative arthritis. There really is no explanation for the cause of ankle arthritis. But those who suffer from the above conditions are more likely to develop ankle arthritis.
Treatment Options for Ankle Arthritis
After visiting with our foot and ankle doctor in Phoenix and being properly diagnosed with ankle arthritis, it is time to start a treatment plan. It all will depend on the severity of your ankle arthritis, but we can create a personalized plan for you that may include the following:
– Strength and balance exercises that focus on your leg and ankle muscles
– Diet and exercise plan to lose weight since extra pounds can make ankle arthritis worse
– The use of special comforting shoes with convex soles
– The use of compression sleeves and braces for inflammation
For more severe cases, reconstructive surgery will be needed.
One option is ankle fusion surgery also known as arthrodesis. First, the remaining cartilage is removed and then the ankle is realigned at a 90-degree angle. Screws and plates will be placed to hold the ankle joint in place. This surgery helps 90 percent of patients with their pain to help them walk better.
For more extreme cases, ankle replacement surgery will be the best treatment option. This is where a metal component is placed at the ankle’s upper bone and another matching one at the lower ankle bone. A polyethylene liner helps the ankle’s range of motion between the two components. This surgery gives patients more normal ankle function and helps alleviate the extra stress on the ankle joint. Revision surgery may be needed every 10 years.
If you are concerned you have ankle arthritis, schedule an appointment with our team for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.