Arthritis is a health condition that comes in many different forms, and although it can affect the ankle joint in similar ways, that doesn’t mean treatment is always the same. In today’s blog, we shine a light on a number of different forms of arthritis that can affect your ankles, and we walk you through some treatment techniques.
Common Types Of Ankle Arthritis
There are a number of different types of arthritis that can affect your ankles, so if you’re showing signs or dealing with stiffness or pain in your ankle, set up an appointment with your doctor or a foot specialist so you can begin treating the specific course of ankle arthritis. Here’s a look at a couple different types of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative form of arthritis where the cartilage that cushions the joint wears away slowly over time. This is a common form of arthritis that can set in due to decades of stress on your ankles and feet. Because of this, it’s most common in individuals over 60 years old, but it can also develop in younger patients as a result of significant trauma to the ankle joint. Treatment can’t reverse this degeneration, but physical therapy and stretching exercises can help to prevent further degeneration and maintain mobility in the ankle joint.
Post-Traumatic Arthritis – PTA, also known as post-traumatic arthritis, is a type of arthritis that sets in after an injury to the ankle joint. It can develop rather quickly after the injury, or it can lead to slow changes over time that eventually turn into symptoms of PTA. Significant sprains, fractures or ankle joint dislocations are the most common reasons for eventual post-traumatic arthritis onset. It is generally treated with stress reduction and weight management alongside over-the-counter medications. If this doesn’t help prevent the onset of the condition, a debridement or reconstruction operation may be required.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – Rheumatoid Arthritis is a different type of arthritis in which the body’s own immune system attacks itself, leading to an inflammatory response in the ankle which can cause pain and inhibited range of motion. Difficulty climbing stairs or inclines can help to signal the early onset of RA. The damage done by rheumatoid arthritis can’t be undone, but certain treatments can help prevent flareups and progression of the condition. Oftentimes treatment involves a combination of exercise, dietary changes and anti-inflammatory medications.
Reactive Arthritis – Reactive arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis that sets in as a complication of an infection, and the ankles are oftentimes one of the first areas affected by the condition. Medications to manage the infection and physical therapy exercises to strengthen the weakened ankle joints are often a very successful treatment combination.
Gout – Gout is a type of arthritis that tends to occur in the big toe joint as a result of high levels of uric acid in the blood, but it can also affect the ankles. Exercise, dietary changes and weight management are all ways to limit the development of uric acid in your bloodstream and in turn reduce gout flareups.
If you’re dealing with any of these types of ankle arthritis, be sure to set up an appointment with Dr. Silverman’s office today.