This is the general wear and tear of the cartilage of the ankle joint
How is it caused?
Unlike hip and knee arthritis, the most common cause of ankle arthritis is following trauma (Post-Traumatic Ankle Arthritis). Therefore, it tends to affect patients at a younger age, usually around 50 years of age, but can also affect people in their 20’s and 30’s if the injury is severe enough.
Other causes of ankle arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid Disease
- Infection and Diabetes
What are the symptoms?
Pain, swelling, stiffness, deformity and limp are all signs that the ankle joint may be affected by arthritis, resulting in reduced mobility and chronic pain.
How is it diagnosed?
Clinical examination, X-ray, MRI and CT
How is it treated?
What can I do?
Keep active but avoid high impact activity on the ankles such as road running and where required use Pain killers.
It can be very challenging to treat young patients (under 50 years of age) with ankle arthritis. Physiotherapy is really only of benefit in the very early stages.
Steroid Injections may in some cases help in managing the pain and to preserve remaining cartilage.
More established arthritis needs a proper biomechanical orthotic assessment (gait analysis), which can be extremely effective in controlling pain and allowing patients to go about their daily life
‘Key Hole’ arthroscopic surgery is used to assess if the underlying joint surface can be stimulated using a technique known as ‘Nanofracture’.
PRP/ACP, BMAC (Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate) for cartilage regeneration and stem cell therapy may offer significant benefit, but long-term results are not yet fully known.
Ankle Fusion, usually this is performed arthroscopically with keyhole surgery where the two joint surfaces which generate the pain are removed and the joints are then fused together with screws.
Ankle replacement may ultimately be required, and our surgeons use the Infinity Total Ankle Replacement with Patient Specific CT Guide Prophecy system to ensure optimum placement of the artificial joint prosthesis.