A common cause of chronic ankle pain is arthritis, which means “inflammation of the joints.” Ankle arthritis can cause aches, pain, swelling and stiffness, and over time can lead to deformity, damage to the joints and problems walking.
Two Main Types of Ankle Arthritis
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the main two, with Osteoarthritis being the more common version. It causes the gradual breakdown and loss of cartilage in the ankle joints. That’s not a good thing, since cartilage cushions your bones every time you move and prevents them from rubbing together. When that cartilage wears away, it can seriously impact daily life and make walking quite painful.
How You Develop Osteoarthritis
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis often comes with age from the general wear and tear of life. It can appear just about anywhere there’s a joint – in the hands, hips, knees, feet, elbows, ankles, fingers...
Ankle osteoarthritis may appear as a result of injury, such as a broken ankle or recurring ankle instability, but it often appears so long after the injury that the connection is not apparent. Osteoarthritis can also develop in those with foot conditions like flat feet or high arches, which create abnormal stress on the joints. There is also a correlation between arthritis and the chronic inflammation of gout and frequent bleeding of hemophilia.
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis
We diagnose ankle arthritis through a physical examination, and we might order X-rays or other diagnostic imaging to get a better look.
There are several options for treatment, including custom orthotics to provide support and cushion the joint, ankle braces to restrict motion and support the joints, and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joint. We may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections to minimize painful inflammation.
In some advanced cases when other treatment options have failed to reduce the pain, surgery may be necessary to minimize the pain and improve the ankle’s functioning.
If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment
Accepted Insurance Providers
There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.