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Ankle Swelling and Pain/Ankle Arthritis

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Updated:

March 31, 2024

What is Ankle Arthritis?

Ankle Arthritis Pain

Ankle arthritis is a medical problem that involves the interior surface of the ankle joint, leading to ankle swelling and pain. This painful condition, known as arthritis in the ankle, can be caused by normal aging or "wear and tear," an injury, or by inflammatory diseases.

Ankle arthritis treatment focuses on addressing the cartilage, the inner lining of the joint, as well as the inner mid-foot bone foundation upon which the cartilage rests, the ligaments that surround the joint, and the fluid within the joint.

Pain associated with ankle arthritis is often characterized as dull to sharp, especially with the first few steps in the morning or the evening after increased activities.

Patients living with ankle arthritis report minor relief as it is "warmed up" during light walking and massage. Sudden ankle pain without injury or swelling, and ankles that "give out," are also common findings in arthritis in ankle symptoms.

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How We Treat Ankle Arthritis

Each patient comes to us with different levels of pain, medical history, and lifestyle characteristics that can determine whether conservative treatment or surgical correction is right for them. If conservative treatment fails, the option to not have surgery is as important as the joint replacement surgery recommended by your surgeon.

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Conservative Ankle Arthritis Treatment Options

Medications

Oral anti-inflammatory medication can help with the chronic pain associated with ankle arthritis symptoms but is not much help with the acute pain that comes with ankle arthritis.

Immobilization or Arch Support

Immobilization can vary from ankle bracing, which allows some motion to complete immobilization with a walker boot. Temporary arch supports, supportive athletic shoes for soft tissues, and custom molded orthotics are a great way to reduce the amount of force and excessive motion at the ankle joint and other supportive foot joints, aiding in the treatment of swollen ankle arthritis and feet and ankle swelling.

Injections

Cortisone can be directly injected into the same joint where it can be most effective for relief from ankle swelling and pain. These injections can be administered with minimal discomfort.

Surgical Treatment for Ankle Arthritis

Ankle Arthroscopy

Ankle arthroscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing problems within the ankle joint, including ankle fracture swelling and sudden ankle pain without injury or swelling.

It allows a small camera to go into the ankle through two small 1 cm incisions to the front of the ankle. Any damage to the ankle joint cartilage and inner joint wall lining is cleaned up and removed. Walking in a removable cast is allowed after 3 to 14 days.

Ankle Fusion

Ankle fusion is used to treat advanced arthritis in the ankle with no relief of symptoms, restriction of joint motion, or severe joint pain. This procedure is a form of ankle arthritis surgery.

After removal of remaining cartilage from the joint surfaces, internal fixation fuses the joint slightly less than 90 degrees from the leg veins to allow the front of the foot to clear the ground when walking.

Non-weight-bearing in a cast is mandatory for 8 weeks and then full weight-bearing should be fine at 12 weeks if there are no complications.

Ankle Replacement

Although many new ankle joint replacement devices are in production, the follow-up studies and outcomes are not as successful as other joint replacement procedures like the knee and hip. Therefore, ankle arthritis surgery through replacement is cautiously considered, with many opting to wait until better devices are on the market.

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Why Choose Us for Managing Ankle Arthritis and Related Conditions

When it comes to treating ankle arthritis and its associated conditions, Modern Foot & Ankle offers a comprehensive and tailored approach to care. Here's an in-depth look at why we stand out:

State-of-the-art treatments for Foot and Ankle Arthritis

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we harness the latest advancements in medical technology to provide innovative treatments for foot and ankle arthritis.

Our approach includes minimally invasive surgery options, regenerative medicine techniques such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and advanced laser treatments. These state-of-the-art solutions are designed to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life for our patients with minimal downtime.

Expert Medical Team Specializing in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Our highly skilled professionals are experts in diagnosing and treating various forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis which can significantly impact the foot and ankle.

The team's comprehensive knowledge ensures a holistic approach to care, considering all aspects of the condition from inflammation and joint damage to the management of systemic symptoms.

Customized Patient Care

Understanding that each patient's journey with conditions like ankle swelling, joint pain, and chronic venous insufficiency is unique, we customize treatment plans to fit the specific needs and lifestyles of our patients.

This patient-centric approach ensures that each individual receives the most appropriate treatment, whether it involves adjustments in blood pressure medicines, management of blood clot, or addressing soft tissue complications.

Comprehensive Support Services

Navigating the complexities of healthcare can be challenging, which is why we offer comprehensive support services. This includes assistance with insurance coverage, guidance on managing chronic conditions such as high blood vessels that can affect foot and ankle health, and post-treatment care aimed at ensuring a smooth and successful recovery.

Educational Resources on Foot and Ankle Health

Empowerment through education is a cornerstone of our practice. We provide our patients with extensive resources on managing foot and ankle arthritis, understanding the impact of conditions like chronic venous insufficiency on blood flow, and the importance of preventing blood clots.

Our goal is to help patients make informed decisions about their care and adopt lifestyles that promote overall foot and ankle health.

Innovative Surgical Solutions for the Ankle Joint

For patients requiring surgical intervention, we offer innovative solutions that focus on preserving the function of the ankle joint while reducing pain.

Our surgical options range from arthroscopic procedures for minimal tissue disruption to more complex surgeries like total ankle replacements using the latest prosthetic designs. These procedures are performed to restore function, minimize recovery time, and achieve long-lasting results.

In Summary

Ankle arthritis is a condition that can significantly impact the quality of life through joint pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. We've discussed the causes, including wear and tear, injury, and inflammatory kidney disease or rheumatoid arthritis, which can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, affecting blood flow and causing swollen foot.

Treatment options range from conservative approaches like medication and immobilization to surgical interventions for more severe cases.

Our clinics stand out for their expert medical teams, state-of-the-art treatments, and personalized care plans, making it the go-to choice for those suffering from ankle arthritis and related conditions.

Whether you're dealing with ankle swelling, or high blood pressure complications, or require surgical solutions, Modern Foot & Ankle is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and support throughout your treatment journey.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.

FAQs

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Is ankle surgery a major surgery?

No, ankle surgery is not considered a major surgery. It is performed in an out-patient setting, has minimal risk, and requires minimal post-operative care.

How long does it take to heal from ankle surgery?

The incision care and keeping the ankle dry takes 2 weeks. Partial weight-bearing and light exercise on a stationary bike or swimming begins after 3 to 4 weeks. Full weight-bearing and exercise, such as walking or using the treadmill, can be performed at 4 to 8 weeks.

Is ankle surgery painful?

No, ankle surgery should only cause minor discomfort. Postoperative ankle pain can be controlled with anti-inflammatories or pain medication like hydrocodone.

Do screws stay in after ankle surgery?

Screws inserted during ankle surgery do not have to be removed, unless they become prominent or cause discomfort.

How soon after ankle surgery can I walk?

Patients can walk anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks after a standard Arthroscopic procedure. More extensive ankle surgeries can take up to 6 to 8 weeks before patients can walk.

What are the risks of ankle surgery?

Ankle surgery has minimal risks, including infection, deep venous thrombosis, and joint instability, among others.

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Local Podiatrists specializing in Ankle Arthritis

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Achilles Tendon Injury

We provide a variety of treatments for Achilles tendon injuries, including conservative methods, minimally-invasive therapies, and surgical intervention.

Ankle Sprain

Our doctors provide expert care for a range of foot and ankle injuries, including sprains, fractures, and tendonitis.

Custom Orthotics and Footwear

Our foot and ankle specialists can create custom orthotics and recommend footwear to help alleviate foot pain and improve your mobility.

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