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TEXT: (908) 224-4639
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Arthritis in the Ankle is a condition characterized by inflammation and deterioration of the cartilage within the ankle joint.

There are several types of arthritis that can affect the ankle, but the two most common types are osteoarthritis & rheumatoid.

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Ankle: The cartilage that cushions the bones within a joint gradually degrades over time. This breakdown can lead to bone-on-bone contact, causing pain, swelling, and a decrease in mobility. Osteoarthritis is often the result of wear and tear from either aging, a previous injury, or excessive strain. It can cause pain that increases with activity, stiffness after periods of inactivity, and even swelling around the joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) of the Ankle: Is an autoimmune disorder that the immune system attacks the synovium, the lining that encases the joints. In the ankle, this can lead to chronic inflammation, pain, and swelling. Eventually, the inflammation can cause damage to the cartilage, causing joint deformities and the loss of function. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects multiple joints equally and can involve systemic symptoms like fatigue and even a fever.

Some common symptoms of arthritis in the ankle can include:

  • Persistent pain in the joint of the ankle.
  • Stiffness in the ankle, especially after periods of rest or inactivity.
  • Visible swelling, tenderness, and can be warm to the touch around the ankle joint.
  • Reduced range of motion, making it challenging to freely move the ankle.
  • Changes in gait or walking pattern to compensate for the pain.

Some treatment options for arthritis may include the following such as:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage pain and reduce the inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Specific exercises and stretches can help maintain joint flexibility, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and improve overall mobility.
  • Assistive Devices: Ankle braces, orthotics, or supportive footwear can help alleviate pressure or pain on the ankle joint and improve stability.
  • Injections: Corticosteroid injections can sometimes provide relief from pain as well as inflammation.
  • Surgical Options: In some severe cases, surgical interventions such as ankle fusion or an ankle replacement may be considered.