Arizona Orthopedic Surgery Solutions for Ankle Osteoarthritis
What is Ankle Osteoarthritis
As humans age, they are more susceptible to arthritis. Most people will develop some sort of joint damage, whether they experience inflammation, pain, or other alterations, in this case to their ankles. Osteoarthritis, known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis, degenerative joint disease, and age-related arthritis, occurs over time, most notably in the foot and ankle. Osteoarthritis is most common within the three joints connected to your heel bone, the inner mid-foot bone, and outer mid-foot bone, as well as the joint that connects the ankle and shinbone, and the joint of your big toe and foot bone.
Ankle Osteoarthritis Diagnosis
It is normal to experience sensitivity and pain when you touch the ankle and move it. Likewise, this may lead to difficulty standing, moving, and walking. Inflexibility, warmth, and inflammation in general as well as sitting after activity and nightly sleep are normal too. After an interview about your medical history, your doctor will conduct a physical examination to analyze the inflammation and stiffness. They will manipulate the foot and ankle to see the range of motion and grade the pain in the joint. The doctor may decide to make use of an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to be sure the pain isn’t caused by a fracture, tear, or any other form of arthritis.
Ankle Osteoarthritis Treatment
For dealing with ankle osteoarthritis on your own, be sure to wear quality footwear that supports both your foot and ankle. Make sure there is ample room so your feet aren’t squished and wear heel gels, insoles, or custom orthotics if necessary. Several stretches, such as the Achilles stretch, big-toe stretch, toe pull, and toe curl are all excellent exercises to maintain and improve flexibility which will in turn aid the osteoarthritis pain in your ankle. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can be taken alongside glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Heat will subdue muscle spasms while cold will subdue inflammation. Acupuncture and massage can remedy pain and swelling as well. Swimming, elliptical machines, bicycling, yoga, and tai chi are low impact activities to continue working out without agitating an arthritic ankle. A doctor may use Cortisone or another steroid injection in the event of severe arthritic pain. Canes, braces, and other assistive technology may be necessary to maintain mobility. Physical therapy is great for both minor and severe cases of osteoarthritis. In more extreme cases, you made fusion surgery, known as arthrodesis, or joint replacement surgery, known as arthroplasty. Arthrodesis is when damaged joint cartilage is removed and screws and plates or rods and pins are used to hold several bones in position while they form together into one bone. Essentially, the joint is removed and the bones are fused together so they can no longer grind against each other as the several bones are now one bone. Arthroplasty is reserved as a last resort. Arthroplasty is when both joint cartilage and bone(s) are damaged beyond repair. The damaged cartilage and bone(s) are removed and exchanged with metal and plastic.