Understanding Ankle Osteoarthritis

In ankle osteoarthritis, the ankle’s articular cartilage begins to degenerate, resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling of the ankle. It usually occurs as a result of ankle fractures or other past injury that may have healed, but accelerated “wear and tear” on cartilage in the joint.

Symptoms of Ankle Osteoarthritis

One of the major symptoms of osteoarthritis is ankle pain. Individuals will experience pain in the tibia, middle and back of the foot. Early in the progression of ankle osteoarthritis, one may experience pain during periods of movement or other activity. Commonly, it starts to be noticeable after walking, running, climbing stairs or standing for long periods of time. As the condition worsens with time, the pain may also start to be felt during times of rest and inactivity.

Ankle stiffness is another common symptom of ankle osteoarthritis. This is caused by swelling and bone friction in the ankle, making it stiff and less flexible. The swelling in the ankle is due to the erosion of the cartilage, which leaves the fibula, tibia, and talus bones to rub against one another. With the swelling come loss of flexibility and limited range of motion, which make it more difficult for patients to continue normal activities.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Among the most common causes of osteoarthritis in the ankle are:

Treating Ankle Osteoarthritis

Non-surgical treatment

Conservative treatments are best suited in the early stages of osteoarthritis, and commonly include one or more of the following approaches:

Surgical treatment

If non-surgical treatments fail to relieve your ankle osteoarthritis symptoms, you may need to consider surgery. There are different surgical procedures that can be performed on an ankle joint with osteoarthritis:

The type of surgery best suited to a patient will be based on a patient’s age, goals, activities, medical history, and other factors.

For an evaluation and treatment of any ankle problems, including osteoarthritis, call Houston Foot and Ankle Care at (713) 541-3199 to schedule an appointment with podiatric surgeon Gabriel Maislos, DPM, FACFAS. Don’t live with foot or ankle pain. We accept most forms of major medical insurance.

Call (713) 541-3199 if you experience:

Houston Foot and Ankle

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