Nearly half of all people in their 60s and 70s suffer from arthritis of the foot and ankle, according to FootCareMD. Such arthritis comes in many forms, making it difficult to perform many activities later in life, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says.
Ankle arthritis, a degenerative condition, occurs when the protective cartilage in the ankle wears away over time, leading to friction between bones. While not as well-known as other forms of arthritis, ankle arthritis can be just as debilitating.
It can also affect younger people, usually as the result of past ankle injuries. If you’d like to learn more about how to treat this problem, the foot and ankle specialists at Summit Orthopaedics can help.
How to Know If You Have Ankle Arthritis
Recognizing ankle arthritis can be challenging as symptoms develop gradually. Pain is the most evident sign, and usually happens after extended periods of physical activity.
Other symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and stiffness in the ankle joint, making it difficult to walk.
If you observe these signs, it’s crucial to consult the foot and ankle specialists at Summit Orthopaedics.
We’ll look at your medical history, including the nature of your pain, and conduct a physical examination, looking for signs like tenderness and swelling. Other diagnostics may include imaging tests like X-rays, bone scans, MRIs, or CT scans.
At Summit Orthopaedics, our foot and ankle surgeons offer a plethora of treatment options for ankle arthritis. While there’s currently no cure for the condition, the right treatments can greatly alleviate symptoms.
Nonsurgical treatments usually involve:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Activity modifications
- Corticosteroid injections
- Topical anti-inflammatories
- Physical therapy
If these approaches fail to address your pain sufficiently, surgical treatments may be considered.
Traditional surgical treatments include ankle arthrodesis or ankle fusion, where the damaged bone and cartilage are removed, and the joint is fused together using plates and screws. This method restricts ankle motion and can sometimes place undue stress on nearby joints. To counteract this, our surgeons use modern procedures that retain a range of motion while still addressing the underlying pain.
Schedule a Consultation Today With Summit Orthopaedics
If you’re experiencing symptoms of ankle arthritis, don’t let pain hinder your quality of life.
At Summit Orthopaedics in Portland, Oregon, our skilled foot and ankle surgeons offer a full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments to help you regain mobility and reduce discomfort. Schedule an appointment with us online or call us at (503) 850-9940.