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Ankle Arthritis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Ankle arthritis is a result of a worn out cartilage in the joint area connecting feet to legs. This medical condition could be a result of inflammation, injury or deformity in the ankle area. It could also be a result of either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis that moves down to the area of ankle joints. Patients suffering from this medical condition will be advised to undergo non-operative treatments first.


The first warning signs of this illness are pain and swelling. At an early stage, it is quite difficult to notice any symptoms at first. Normally, pain is felt less around the ankle than in the joints. In other cases, abnormality can get noticeable such as excessive swelling.


The most common cause of ankle arthritis is due to injuries like fractures or sprains in the ankle area. By and large, an ankle injury results from a damaged cartilage. However, in case of no injury and yet feeling pain and having a swollen ankle, it is likely caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This type of arthritis is capable of spreading to any joint within the body. Yet, another cause is due to infected cells in the cartilage. Cells in the cartilage are not capable of regeneration and therefore the damage can be permanent. Some causes of this illness are associated with the body weight. Since the legs and feet carry much of the body’s weight, there is a high tendency for the joint cartilage to get damaged.


Treating ankle arthritis greatly depends on manifested symptoms as well as the severance of the illness. Treatment can be as simple as changing your footwear. Activity modifications can also help. People suffering from this illness should avoid brisk walking, running and other strenuous physical activities. Another way is to wear special orthoses. This will prevent the foot from excessive motion while holding the ankle joint in its proper position. Patients having moderate symptoms can be given an anti-inflammatory medication that should not be taken for a long period of time only under the guidance of a proper doctor.

Ankle arthritis is less common than some other types of arthritis like those that occurring in knees and hips which could be as painful. If not given proper medical attention, invasive treatment like surgery is more likely to happen.


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