The ankle joint is composed of three bones. The Talus, Tibia and Fibula. Ankle arthritis Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the united states. This usually occurs in patients over the age of 50. Arthritis of the ankle joint is the destruction of the cartilage between the three ankle joint bones. This can be very debilitating conditions limiting daily activity.
Overuse: seen in runners
Old age: as we age our cartilage normally wear out
Trauma: From previous injuries such as ankle fractures
Family history: Genetics does play a key role in the development of arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune arthritis conditions
Bacterial infection/Septic joints
Osteochondral lesion: Lesions within the talus can eventually lead to breakdown of the cartilage and even lead to necrosis
Joint deformity: Uneven joint can lead to uneven wear leading to accelerated wear and tear on the cartilage
Pain or Crepitus with range of motion of the ankle joint
Swelling, Joint effusion
Pain with activity or early in the morning
Ankle varus/valgus deformity
Xrays, Ultrasound, MRI, CT imaging may be performed to get the degree of arthritic changes and too if there is any associated pathology
We start with Rest, Ice, Compression, Bracing, orthotics, NSAIDs, Topical pain creams and Corticosteroid injections. We also have Amniotic Cell Therapy for those that have failed most conservative therapy measures. This new injection therapy contains growth factors/stem cells to help repair the damaged cartilage.
Surgical intervention is reserved for those that have failed conservative therapies. Many surgical procedures exist: Removal of bony prominence, Ankle arthroscopy and debridement, Joint distraction, Repair of OCD lesions, Ankle Joint fusion and Ankle joint replacement, total talus replacement. The surgical procedure of choice is determined by your surgeon.