Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Can You Get Arthritis In Your Ankle

What Is The Treatment For Foot And Ankle Arthritis

How can you treat ankle arthritis?

A doctor will prescribe treatment for foot and ankle arthritis depending on the stage of the condition and how the symptoms manifest. If your arthritis in the foot and/or ankle is minimal, you may find comfort in home remedies and exercises. However, if you have advanced arthritis, a doctor may recommend a surgical treatment. See below for several popular treatment options.

Home Remedies and ExercisesIf you suspect you have arthritis in the foot and/or ankle, you should limit impact activities, which include running and jumping. Activity modification is an essential part of ankle arthritis treatment. Similarly, people who are overweight may benefit from weight loss or control losing weight decreases the pressure placed on the foot and ankle joints and can alleviate some tension.

There are also several strengthening exercises and stretches that are beneficial to people with mild arthritis. Mild exercise can ease arthritis pain and stiffness, but be careful to not overdo it.

Medications and Non-Surgical TreatmentsIn mild foot and ankle arthritis, shoe modifications can alleviate pain and stiffness. Cushioned inserts can help alleviate symptoms, and a rocker bottom on a shoe sole can help support the joint. To prevent excessive motion in the affected part of the body, a brace may also be recommended to help hold the ankle joint in position. These braces are known as ankle-foot-orthoses, or AFOs, and are available at most pharmacies.

Treatment For Foot And Ankle Arthritis

Thankfully, arthritic joints in the midfoot and the pain they cause can usually be treated without resorting to invasive surgical procedures. At Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute, our specialists will likely recommend the following arthritis treatments to provide the pain relief that you need:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Shoes with stiff soles to reduce the force applied to the midfoot
  • Shoes with mesh-like material across the upper portion to relieve pressure on the arthritic area
  • Wear supportive shoes
  • Low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling rather than high-impact activities like running
  • Lose weight to reduce the force applied to the joints and soft tissues
  • Stretching exercises and physical therapy
  • Use of medical devices such as a cane or crutches to off-load some of the pressure and weight
  • Corticosteroid injections

When the pain from foot arthritis affects the top of the foot, patients may develop bone spurs from the arthritis joint. Sometimes, the only treatment that will have a positive effect is surgery. This may include fusion surgery that fuses two or more bones into one larger bone. This foot surgery is designed to eliminate the arthritic joint.

Doctors may also consider joint replacement surgery and arthroscopic surgery to reduce swelling and pain. No matter which surgery is recommended and performed, patients will need to work with a physical therapist to work through pain from the surgery and regain full range of motion.

Recognizing The Signs Of Arthritis In Your Feet

When you think about arthritis, you may think about it occurring in one of your major joints, such as your hips or knees. However, any joint in your body can develop arthritis. And your feet contain a lot of joints, with 28 bones and 30 joints in the average human foot.

Like any other joints, the ones in your feet and ankles can develop pain and swelling from arthritis. The good news is there are treatment options. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates explains some of the symptoms of arthritis of the feet and ankles and what you can do if you have the condition.

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How Ankle Arthritis Is Diagnosed

If ankle arthritis is suspected, doctors will start with a medical history to determine a diagnosis. Theyll ask when you noticed your symptoms, where you feel pain, and how the symptoms affect your life. Theyll examine your ankle to check for signs of arthritis in the joints, such as swelling and tenderness.

Other tests can assess whether other types of arthritis may be responsible for the ankle pain, such as blood tests that measure inflammation and antibodies to rule out inflammatory arthritis, or testing of joint fluid for uric acid crystals if gout is suspected. Imaging tests such as X-rays can help confirm a diagnosis and determine the extent of the joint damage.

Arthritis Of The Ankle Following Lateral Ligament Damage

Can You Get Arthritis In Your Feet

Lateral ruptures of the ankle are now – rightfully so – treated by immobilisation via brace. For about 20% of all patients, this immobilisation does not suffice: Ligament instability remains. Especially in lateral ligaments, this results in “rotation instability” of the ankle bone, which can especially cause arthritis of the ankle in patients with high levels of strain due to sports or their profession. Of course, this must be diagnosed years or decades before arthritis of the ankle appears, in order to be helpful. But even in patients with arthritis, this test is an important component in the diagnosis.

In most cases this residual instability of the ankle joint does not even require surgery. Targeted physical therapy and ankle exercises at home from the ankle academy can quite often correct this instability. In a few cases, this instability requires surgery.

Unfortunately, with extremely conservative treatment of lateral ligament ruptures, the follow-up examination to determine such residual instabilities in a time period in which they could still be treated is often not carried out.

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The Primary Role Of Ligaments In Talus Function

The following images are diagrams of the talus viewed from the top. The shin and calf bone forming the joint are marked in yellow. The ankle bone bears a person’s full body weight when walking. However, no muscles are actively keeping the ankle bone in position. Only ligaments secure the talus in position. Only the position of the surrounding ligaments and joints defines the properties of the ankle bone key for the formation. This connection is our primary focus in examining arthritis of the ankle.

Treatments For Arthritis In The Ankle

Ankle arthritis doesnt have a cure. But many treatments are available that may help relieve pain and improve function.

The goal with these treatments is to help patients function and do their daily activities with less pain, says Narandra Bethina, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center and assistant professor at the Robert Larner, MD College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. This can also result in better quality of life.

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Hem Ankle Rehabfor Ankle Pain

If you have ankle pain and are able to do a rehabilitation program, HEM Ankle Rehab contains everything you need to heal your ankle sprain fully and fast at home and is also far faster and cheaper than going to a physical therapist. We will show you exactly how to eliminate ankle pain and strengthen/stabilize/mobilize your ankles for full healing and future protections from injury.

What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Foot And Ankle

8 Exercises for Ankle Arthritis and Pain

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It mostly affects the hands, knees, hips and spine, but it can happen in any joint in the body, including the feet and ankles.

A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. Your ankle joint is where the tibia and fibula bones in your leg join up with your foot. There are 33 joints in the foot, but the big toe is the one that is most commonly affected by osteoarthritis.

The joints in your body go through a normal cycle of damage and repair during your lifetime. But sometimes the process your body goes through to repair joints can change their shape or structure. When these changes happen in one or more of your joints, its called osteoarthritis.

The ends of our bones are covered in a tough but slippery surface, known as cartilage. This allows the bones to move against each other. The bones are held in place by ligaments. Tendons attached to our muscles and bones help us to move around.

Osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage, which results in pain and swelling, and can sometimes mean the bones rub against each other as we move. Osteoarthritis doesnt just affect the cartilage, but can also cause damage to the bones, ligaments, tendons and lining of affected joints.

Osteoarthritis can affect anyone at any age, but its most common in people over 45. It affects more women than men. The risk of developing osteoarthritis is commonly linked to:

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How Will It Affect Me

Osteoarthritis can affect people in different ways, but the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

  • pain and swelling in the affected joints
  • stiffness, especially if you havent moved for a while
  • joints looking bigger than normal.

Some people with osteoarthritis can hear grating or crunching noises when moving their feet and ankles. You may also feel unsteady on your feet.

You may have an achy feeling in your feet, especially if youve been particularly active or worn high heels. Some people also get pain in their feet at night.

In the ankle, osteoarthritis could cause your ligaments to become weaker, which could put more strain on the cartilage. You might also find the muscles around your ankle become weaker over time, and it may feel painful to walk or put weight on your ankle.

The repair process in osteoarthritis can cause spurs to form on the edge of your bones. These are known as osteophytes and change the shape of your joint. Sometimes bone and cartilage can break away and float inside the joint, which could cause more pain and swelling.

If you think you might have osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle, its important to visit your GP, so they can diagnose you and start treatment as soon as possible. If youve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle, its important to know that your symptoms probably wont get worse, and they may even improve.

How Does Ra In The Ankles Feel

The main symptom of RA in the ankle joint is inflammation, which leads to swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joint. This can restrict the joints mobility and impair a persons ability to walk and stand.

In the early stages, symptoms may be mild and infrequent. For example, people may begin to feel discomfort when walking up a hill, as this places the ankle joints under extra pressure.

Over time, inflammation can become worse, causing damage to the joints and their surrounding tissues. Symptoms then become more pronounced. The ankles may frequently become painful and stiff, particularly when walking or standing.

In longstanding disease, the ankle joint can become fused and lose range of motion, which impacts gait significantly because the foot cannot flex to allow the necessary push-off. However, as a result of developments in treatments, this is now rare.

When chronic RA causes changes to the structure of the foot, it can lead to calluses, bunions, nodules, and corns.

Aside from inflammation in the joints, other symptoms of RA may include:

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When Ankle Pain May Mean Arthritis

Many forms of arthritis and related conditions can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the ankles.

If you are experiencing pain, swelling and stiffness in the ankles, you may have one of the following types of arthritis or related conditions.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Also known as wear and tear arthritis, OA is a chronic condition caused by the breakdown of the cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones where they meet to form joints. This breakdown causes the bones to rub together, causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement. In ankle OA, its common to have joint pain where the ankle and shinbone meet.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the bodys immune system which normally protects us from infection mistakenly attacks joints. The result can be pain, swelling, inflammation and loss of function. In about 90 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis, the joints of the feet and ankles are often affected. RA usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body .


Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis that often occurs following an infection of the genital, urinary or gastrointestinal system. The knees, ankles and joints of the feet are often the first to be affected. Reactive arthritis can also cause inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle.


Psoriatic Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis


How Ankle Osteoarthritis Is Diagnosed

Understanding Foot &  Ankle Arthritis

Diagnosis of ankle osteoarthritis usually begins with the patient’s medical history. The patient should make their doctor aware of any past ankle injuries and if there is a family history of osteoarthritis.

A physical examination can reveal an abnormal range of motion in the ankle joint, as well as pain, swelling, or tenderness around the ankle joint. Crepitus suggests the ends of the bones that form the joint are rubbing against each other.

During the physical examination, an assessment of bone alignment while walking may be performed. The analysis also measures the patient’s stride and tests the strength of the ankle and foot.

X-rays help determine the severity of ankle damage and can help doctors estimate the amount of cartilage that remains. X-rays or other imaging studies can also detect joint space narrowing and misshapen joints.CT scans or MRIs are used to evaluate ankle joint damage, as well.

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What Surgery Is There For Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Foot And Ankle

surgery in the foot or ankle is the most common. These procedures provide rheumatoid arthritis foot and/or ankle pain relief, but can compromise flexibility. Other procedures include and toe joint resections. The appropriate option depends on each patients condition and the joints that are affected.

Benefits Of Pain Relief Medications For Arthritis

There are many different benefits of pain relief medications for arthritis. Pain relief medications can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. They can also help to improve the range of motion and increase mobility. In some cases, pain relief medications can also help prevent further damage to the joints.

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When Conservative Treatments Arent Enough

If the treatments above dont help, or your arthritis continues to get worse, Dr. Berg may recommend surgery for your feet or ankles.

One procedure Dr. Berg may recommend is fusion surgery. With this surgery, Dr. Berg fuses specific bones together with pins, rods, plates, or screws. Another procedure Dr. Berg may recommend is joint replacement therapy. With this surgery, your damaged joints are removed and replaced with artificial joints made out of metal or plastic.

If you have arthritis in your feet or ankles, or if you want to see if you do and want to learn about treatment options, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.

Can Orthotics Help Arthritis In My Feet

When Arthritis Affects the Foot and Ankle

Custom foot orthotics are a great conservative treatment option for arthritis of the feet . While one should not expect orthotics to cure their arthritis , they can reasonably expect to receive pain relief while potentially slowing the arthritic process. Orthotics can effectively provide support and correct abnormal positioning that

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What Is Foot Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis because it is associated with aging. Arthritis foot pain can occur in various locations throughout the foot, including the top of the foot. If a patient is suffering pain in the mid-foot bone region, that may signify that they are developing arthritis in the inner mid-foot bone or the outer mid-foot bone.

They are tasked with carrying our body weight and providing us with the range of motion to walk and run. In our feet, there are 26 separate bones. Where these bones rub together are the locations where the bone joint cartilage wears down. The midfoot region can be compared to the joint area between the wrists and hands. The tarsal bones are long and tubular, and the joints for these bones need to accommodate all the types of surfaces that you may walk on.

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Foot And Ankle Arthritis: Causes Symptoms And Treatments

Over the course of a lifetime, our feet and ankles can take a real pounding. Ankles in particular return 50 percent more energy per step than hips and knees, so its not surprising that we treat a fair amount of foot and ankle arthritis in our practice at Rebound.

The two most common forms of foot and ankle arthritis are osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis, or wear and tear arthritis, is naturally degenerative. Over the years, the cartilage that covers the ends of our bones simply wears out and becomes frayed, causing inflammation, swelling, tenderness or pain, and a reduced ability to walk and bear weight. Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury to a foot or ankle, such as a fracture or dislocation. Post-traumatic arthritis can look a lot like osteoarthritis, and affects patients similarly. It can also take a long time, even years, to present. Compared to hip and knee arthritis, which is more commonly degenerative, foot and ankle arthritis is most commonly experienced post-trauma.

The following are the foot joints most often affected by osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis:

  • Ankle: The joint where the shinbone and ankle meet
  • Hindfoot: The three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone , the inner mid-foot bone , and the outer mid-foot bone
  • Forefoot: The joint of the big toe and first metatarsal bone

There are surgical and nonsurgical methods to treat foot and ankle arthritis. Nonsurgical methods include:

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