What Does Arthritis in the Ankle Feel Like?

As people age, the risk of arthritis gets higher. Arthritis is essentially inflammation of your joints. There are hundreds of types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis, which often comes with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 54.4 million adults are affected by an arthritis diagnosis. It’s most common in those who are 65 years and older, but anyone can be affected by it. While most people often think of arthritis affecting their hands, hips, or knees, one of the areas that can be impacted by the condition is your ankle. Arthritis in your ankle can take a significant toll on your mobility and quality of life. But, what does arthritis in the ankle feel like?

Types of Arthritis

With age, your joints tend to wear down over time. You will lose the cushiony cartilage that protects your bones from rubbing together. Once that cushion and other soft tissues around your joints are worn down, the bones begin to wear against each other, which can cause pain and inflammation. After time your joints will no longer work or move the way they normally did. Below you will find some of the common types of arthritis that can affect your ankles.

Osteoarthritis: This is most commonly known as “wear and tear” arthritis as it is age-related. The normal aging process can cause your joints and the surrounding tissue to weaken and cause inflammation. The ankle joints where this most often occurs include the joint where your ankle and shinbone meet.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis: This type of arthritis is related to an injury, most often a dislocation or a bone fracture. While you may not notice the problem right after the injury as it can take years to develop, arthritis you experience later in life may be attributed to a prior injury you had.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is one of the more serious forms of arthritis as it is associated with an autoimmune disease that attacks your joints. It usually occurs on both sides of your body, which means you’ll likely experience the symptoms in both ankles.

Symptoms of Ankle Arthritis

Because arthritis can impact your ankle, it is important to understand the related symptoms so you can get diagnosed and treated. Below you will find some of the common symptoms of arthritis that affects your ankles.

  • Tenderness
  • Pain, including issues with walking, moving, or putting weight on your ankle
  • Joint stiffness
  • Warmth or swelling
  • More pain and swelling after you have rested, including sitting or sleeping

If you have a combination of any of these symptoms, contact a foot and ankle specialist for an appointment. Once you have a diagnosis, you can move forward with treatment options.

Treatment Options

If you think you may have arthritis in your ankle, you can get a diagnosis from a foot and ankle doctor. You can be diagnosed through a physical exam, X-rays, MRI, or CT scan. Once you have been diagnosed, the doctor can provide you with treatment options that are right for you. Below you will find some of the most effective treatment options for your ankle arthritis.

  • Injections: Cortisone, homeopathic, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or amniotic injectables (stem cells)
  • Ankle fusion: This involves fusing the bones together with rods, pins, screws, or plates.
  • Total ankle replacement: This is a procedure that involves totally replacing the damaged bone and cartilage that affects your ankle joint.

Ankle Specialists in Southern California

If you are concerned about your ankle pain and think it may be arthritis, contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. They have several locations all over California, including Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Palmdale, and Westlake. They are skilled in treating foot and ankle pain caused by arthritis. Contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. today for an appointment!