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Your Options When It Comes to Arthritis in Your Ankles

Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions you can face, with more than 23 million Americans experiencing arthritis in at least one of their joints. Arthritis in your ankles is particularly debilitating because not only do you have chronic pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with arthritis, it can also impact your ability to walk comfortably.

Fortunately, we have a wide range of treatments for arthritis in your ankles. You can begin the process with conservative treatments if appropriate, and progress to more serious treatments including surgery. Dr. Cary Chapman of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Consultants of New York explains more about the available treatments for arthritis in your ankles.

What causes ankle arthritis

Many things can contribute to ankle arthritis, but one most common cause tends to be an injury to the ankle. This injury can occur while playing sports or as a result of something as simple as a seemingly minor accident. The normal aging process also contributes to the development of arthritis, as the cartilage that usually cushions the joints wears away over time.

Other things can also contribute to arthritis of the ankle, including diabetes and being overweight. Carrying more weight than is healthy for you can put extra strain and stress on all of your joints, including your ankles. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can also cause more swelling and inflammation of the joints in your ankles.

Conservative treatments for ankle arthritis

In most cases, we start first with conservative treatments for ankle arthritis. Our goal is always to achieve the most effective relief possible for your pain, but sometimes arthritis of the ankle is less severe and responds well to conservative treatments. 

Some of the conservative treatments we may try include the following:

We are most likely to try conservative treatments for as long as possible if you’re a younger patient because joint replacements may have to be repeated if they’re performed too soon.

Surgical options for ankle arthritis treatments

When you haven’t experienced relief from your ankle arthritis with the use of conservative treatments, we’ll generally recommend that you pursue a surgical option next. Some of the surgical options that we offer include replacement of the ankle joints and ankle fusion.

Replacing the ankle joints can provide relief from the pain associated with arthritis. For younger patients, we might recommend a procedure called an ankle distraction, which involves pulling apart (distracting) the ankle joints and holding them in place with pins so that they don’t continue rubbing painfully against each other.

We may also perform ankle fusion, which directly connects the ankle joints to compensate for the loss of the cartilage. 

If you have arthritis in your ankles, you don’t have to suffer from pain any longer. Call one of our offices today or request an appointment online

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