Ankle Arthritis

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
  • Gout,
  • Haemachromatosis
  • Haemophillia
  • 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.


Non-Surgical Treatments

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


Surgical Options

‘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.

When can I expect to be back to normal after surgery?

The recovery time following fusion and ankle replacement will depend on the technique used and on the individual patient, but generally an ankle should be well on the way to uniting by six weeks and be united by twelve to fourteen weeks. The bone will then continue to strengthen as time goes on. Once the ankle has fused / stabilised you will be able to return to most of your pre-operative activities.


Years of experience

Treating patients with Foot and Ankle problems


Operations performed

From bunion surgery to total ankle replacement

5 clinics

In Scotland and London

Call: 0800 193 3668 Email: or fill in the form below to find out more or book an appointment