How To Relieve Ankle Pain
This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. Miles, MD. Dr. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 77,600 times.
Ankle pain is caused by many different conditions including sprains, arthritis, gout, or nerve damage.XResearch source The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprain.XResearch source In many cases, ankle pain will heal on its own with home treatment.XResearch source By following the RICE principle and trying medication and gentle movement, you can relieve pain in your ankle.
What Is Arthritis Of The Foot And Ankle
The pain and stiffness you feel in your feet and ankles as you age could be arthritis. If left untreated, this nagging pain can get worse over time, eventually making it difficult to walk even short distances. Severe arthritis can restrict your mobility, but with proper treatment, you can minimize the pain and maximize your quality of life.
Arthritis is a broad term for a number of conditions that destroy the workings of a normal joint. Arthritis may occur in your back, neck, hips, knees, shoulders or hands, as well as your feet and ankles. Almost half of people in their 60s and 70s have arthritis of the foot and/or ankle, but not all of them have symptoms.
There are many different types of arthritis. The most common type, osteoarthritis, results from wear and tear to joint cartilage, the cushioning between joints that allows them to glide smoothly. The damage can cause inflammation, redness, swelling, and pain in the joint.
Also, a sudden and traumatic injury such as a broken bone, torn ligament, or moderate ankle sprain can cause the injured joint to become arthritic in the future. Sometimes a traumatic injury will lead to arthritis in the injured joint even though the joint received proper medical care at the time of injury. This type of arthritis, called post-traumatic arthritis, is the most common type that affects the ankle.
Other types of inflammatory arthritis include gout, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Exercising The Ankle Joints
Keeping the ankle joints mobile throughout the day can improve flexibility and range of motion in the area.
Exercises can be designed to ensure the ankles stay mobile but without adding too much strain and causing further damage.
Strengthening the muscles around the joints can also reduce further damage by providing extra support.
People can try specific exercises that stretch and strengthen the ankle joints to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling, including:
- exercises to strengthen the foot and ankle muscles to relieve pressure on the joints
- stretches to alleviate stiffness in the tissue surrounding the ankles
Physical therapists can create exercises plans that they tailor for the individual. People will need to find out what exercises are best for their needs.
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Talar Dome Lesions Osteochondral Defects Of The Talus
MRI of Talar Dome Lesion
A talar dome lesion is type of very localized arthritis of the ankle and is essentially a divot in the cartilage and bone on the top of the talus bone of the ankle. It is also known as an osteochondral lesion of the talus.
Talar dome lesions are usually caused by an injury. For example, in a situation where an ankle sprain is just not healing the way that it should one of the diagnoses we will always consider would be a talar dome lesion. In many cases the pain associated with osteochonral defects of the talus can take months or even years to show up after the precipitating injury.
When Is Surgery Recommended For Ankle Arthritis
If the less invasive measures do not effectively address ankle arthritis symptoms, you continue to experience significant pain and are suffering disability, surgery may be recommended. At the Foot and Ankle Center, our expert podiatrists are often able to achieve meaningful pain relief without resorting to surgery. If you have been told by another doctor that you need ankle surgery, we encourage you to contact us for a second opinion.
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How Can I Treat Foot Or Ankle Pain When It Starts
Most foot or ankle pain can be treated without the need to see a healthcare professional.
Soft-tissue injuries should begin to improve over the first few days with the help of some simple self-care tips. You may need to be careful and protect the injured area for several months, until it has fully recovered.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ankle Arthritis
When the ankle joint is severely damaged, cartilage often rips from the bone. The fragments of cartilage then float within the joint causing pain and further damage. Because cartilage does not heal or grow back, this causes a permanent defect that will fill with scar tissue over time, causing more pain and instability. Ultimately, the joint will no longer function, resulting in increased inflammation and severe joint pain.
When asked if ankle pain limits their activities, most patients may not be aware that it does. But when we ask how their activity level compares now with five years ago, many see they have modified their activities because of ankle discomfort. Contact us for an immediate appointment at our Seattle offices if youre experiencing these symptoms:
- Chronic or recurring ankle pain
- Ankle pain after sitting or sleeping
- Swelling in the ankle
- Lessened range of motion in the ankle
- Popping or other sounds when flexing or pointing toes
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Foot And Ankle Arthritis Types
Arthritis is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases. It can involve inflammation and swelling in and around your joints and the nearby soft tissue.
With many kinds of arthritis, your joints wear down over time. You slowly lose the smooth “cushioning” cartilage inside them. As a result, your bones rub and wear against each other. Soft tissues in your joints also may begin to wear down. After some time, the joint might not work or move the way it should.
- Osteoarthritis, or “wear-and-tear” arthritis, is the most common type. Doctors also call it degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually causes changes over many years. The foot and ankle joints where itâs most common are:
- The three joints involving your heel bone, your inner mid-foot bone, and your outer mid-foot bone
- The joint of your big toe and foot bone
- The joint where your ankle and shinbone meet
Arthritis Pain In The Feet And Ankles
Most arthritic pain in the feet and ankles is caused by the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between bones at pivotal joints wears away. The bones then grind together, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Osteoarthritis foot and ankle pain typically occurs at the ankle joint where the ankle connects to the shinbone, at the joints connecting the three parts of the foot, and in the joint connecting the big toe to the ball of the foot.
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Description And Symptoms Of Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis is a bone-on-bone issue resulting from the degeneration of the cartilage in the joint that connects the foot and the leg.
The ankle injury can be a result of an accident that badly affects the ankle joint, causing wear and tear to the cartilage in the ankle joint and ultimately resulting in bone-on-bone.
Though, the ankle joint is less likely to have arthritis unlike the knee and hip joint. Our article on the best knee brace for osteoarthritis gives a comprehensive report and a buying guide for the best knee brace for osteoarthritis.
What Is Ankle Arthritis
The ankle is a highly flexible joint that can bear an incredible amount of weight. Each step a person takes effectively puts up to 5 times that persons body weight onto the ankle joint. Those suffering from ankle arthritis will experience pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint after walking, jogging, or other similar activities. Sometimes even just waking up and beginning to move the joint can cause pain in the ankle joint and in the surrounding tissues.
Ankles are not as prone to arthritis as other joints in the body but when it does occur its because the patient has worn down the joint between the tibia and the talus. The tibia is the shin bone, while the talus makes up the upper part of the rearfoot and the lower part of the ankle joint.
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Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve And Walking Boot
Ankle brace and compression sleeve give the best support and compression to the ankle joint. This helps remove the instability of the ankle joint and also provides the best compression that will mitigate inflammation around the ankle joint.
Ankle brace with insert can also help immobilize the affected ankle joint. Walking boots are equipped with rocker-sole which can also be a good medical device to alleviate ankle arthritis symptoms.
Who Can Help My Foot Or Ankle Pain
There are trained healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating problems affecting the foot and lower leg.
Podiatrists are trained foot specialists, they used to be called chiropodists. They can offer you:
- advice on padding, dressings, specialist insoles, splints and supports
- advice about footwear and exercise
- small non-surgical procedures
- advice on medication
Different areas have different rules for who can be referred to an NHS podiatrist. Some only refer people if they have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or peripheral arterial disease. Other authorities may have broader terms.
If you visit a podiatrist privately you will need to pay for your appointments and any treatment. However, they can refer you for some services, such as scans or x-rays, on the NHS.
You can find a private podiatrist by visiting:
Physiotherapists are trained to use movement, exercise, manual therapy, and advice to help get your foot and ankle moving again. They will show you exercises to practice at home to support your recovery.
In some areas you can self-refer to an NHS physiotherapist. Otherwise, your doctor will request an appointment for you.
You can see a physiotherapist privately, though you would have to pay for your treatment. To find a registered private physiotherapist visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
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Medical Treatment For Foot & Ankle Arthritis
If you are diagnosed with arthritis in the foot or ankle, NYU Langone doctors often recommend a combination of treatments to lessen discomfort and prevent further joint damage. These may include modifying activities that put stress on the affected joints, using orthotic inserts and braces, taking medication, or receiving corticosteroid injections that provide longer-term pain relief. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis may require medications to control the bodys immune response, in addition to some of the following therapies.
Determining The Proper Treatment
Regardless of the condition of the ankle, each patient will require a treatment that is individually suited to their needs. Factors in determining the proper treatment include age , activity level, body weight, quality of bone stock, overall alignment of the foot, stability, and degree of arthritic severity.
In order to determine some of these factors, a doctor will conduct a physical exam and prescribe .
Generally, candidates for total ankle replacement have good mobility, with good bone stock and foot alignment. If TAR is deemed to be an appropriate treatment, Dr. Deland stresses that choosing a surgeon with significant experience is vital. No surgeon should do only one or two of these TAR procedures per year theyll get into trouble mighty fast, he explains. You have to know about foot alignment, and you have to know the implant. Studies show a steep learning curve when performing this procedure.
A surgeon who is well-versed in the procedure will then be able to determine the best type of implant for the patient.
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How To Plan Ankle Exercises For Arthritis
To find out more about how many of each of these exercises I should be doing based on my condition then you can use this as a rough guide to finding out more about how to know this.
At this stage, you need to be thinking about visiting someone who can assess your condition and diagnose it properly to ensure you categorise your condition correctly, and then you can apply the correct type of exercises for this.
Symptoms Of Ankle Arthritis
The most common symptoms of ankle arthritis are the excruciating pain always felt by the victim. This is very common among folks having ankle arthritis however, there are other signs and indications that would probably give you an insight that you have ankle arthritis. They include:
- Swelling of the ankle joint
- Stiffness of the ankle joint
- Weakness and instability of the ankle joint
- The ankle joint can look deform
- The ankle joint can also look pale
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Best Ankle Brace For Arthritis & Osteoarthritis: Top 10 Review
Updated on By Norman
Arthritis and osteoarthritis, though similar in symptoms but different in causes, has been one of the major ankle injuries you might need to get the best ankle brace for arthritis.
Ankle arthritis can be very painful and debilitating, depending on the type of arthritis you are dealing with. The most common ankle arthritis is rheumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis which has similar symptoms but differs.
When you feel some symptoms of arthritis, it might be the best time to visit your doctor for an overall check-up. This will help ascertain the type and the best treatment.
However, ankle brace for arthritis is one of the medical devices you will probably need. This is because ankle arthritis weakens the ankle joint and ankle brace gives the support needed to stabilize the ankle joint.
How Does Ankle Brace Help With Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis comes with symptoms like ankle swelling, stiffness weakness and instability of the ankle, ankle joint deformity, and a lot of pain. These can be mitigated with the help of an ankle brace with proper and correct usage of an ankle brace.
It is essential to get both compression sleeve and an ankle brace because compression sleeves are more effective in giving the right amount of compression to relieve swelling. Ankle brace, either rigid or semi-rigid will do better in stabilizing the ankle joint and ensuring the ankle components are rightly in the proper place.
Therefore, for ankle arthritis, stability and compression are very essential to faster recovery, especially when done in the early stage of the injury. This is what ankle brace offers as it gives the best compression and stability to the ankle joint to relieve pain, swelling and help in the rehabilitation process.
With the right ankle brace and compression sleeve, they help enhance blood circulation to the affected region of the feet while removing unwanted fluid from the affected part.
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Diagnosis Of Talar Dome Lesions
These injuries can sometimes be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are often very intermittent. Many times a diagnosis is based primarily on a patients history. In our examination we will look for any clicking or catching of the ankle, although those signs are not always present.
X-rays are usually taken, but in general these osteochondral ankle lesions are difficult to see on x-ray. We may sometimes inject the ankle with a local anesthetic to determine if that eliminates the pain. If so that is a strong sign that the pain is limited to the ankle joint.
In most cases we will get a bone scan and an MRI to determine the definitive diagnosis.
Exercise Tips For Arthritic Feet And Ankles
Pain in the feet and ankles is commonplace for arthritis sufferers, especially as aging causes a progression of the condition. The human foot has 30 joints, and each one can become a source of pain and stiffness.
At Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine in Kirkland, Washington, our podiatrists work with you to help mitigate the effects of arthritis on your feet and ankles. Part of living with arthritis is staying active, so here are seven exercises tips you can implement for better flexibility and reduced inflammation.
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Warm Or Cold Compress
Using a warming pad or whirlpool for a few minutes can loosen a stiff ankle joint, making activity easier. Icing the ankle joint for 15 or 20 minutes after activity can decrease swelling and provide some immediate pain relief. Heating or icing a joint may improve symptoms temporarily: it does not alleviate the underlying causes of ankle pain and will not improve long-term joint function by itself.