Ankle Arthritis

Where there is joint inflammation, causing stiffness and pain, it is basically due to arthritis. Arthritis generally affects the small joint of the ankle and foot. There is movement restriction of the joint in arthritis.

Risk of having arthritis increases with age. Damage to the joint causes pain, swelling, and other changes in the ankle joint.

Types of Ankle and foot arthritis:

There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Ankle joint commonly affects :

  • Gout: Uric acid accumulation in the joint causes gout. Big toe is most commonly affected
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: It is an autoimmune disease
  • Osteoarthritis: It is a degenerative condition, or wears and tears disease
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: Arthritis occurs after any injury or fracture
  • Psoriatic arthritis: People who are suffering from psoriasis (a skin disease), further may be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis


  • Ankle injuries
  • Damage after any trauma
  • Degeneration after any injury
  • Wear-and-tear damage
  • Malalignment also leads to degeneration and makes the joint more prone to injury. malalignment like: flat foot, cavus equinus, cavus, talipes valgus, talipes varus, etc.

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis:

  • Tenderness around the joint of the ankle
  • Pain in the ankle joint
  • Pain increases during movement
  • Difficulty in walking and weight wearing
  • Stiffness in the ankle joint
  • Swelling in the ankle joint

Ankle and foot arthritis diagnosis:

  • Physical examination
  • x-ray: To check joint space and bony abnormality
  • MRI/ CT scan are more specific


  • Treatment always depends on the underlying cause and the symptoms:
    • Medications: steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, Painkillers
    • Proper shoe (with proper arch support)
    • Use braces if there is any malalignment
    • Physiotherapy exercises: Stretching of tight muscles and strengthening of weak muscles.
    • Custom made shoes
    Regenerative Medicine
  • Surgery
    • In some cases surgery is required:
      • Arthrodesis or joint fusion surgery
      • Arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery
      • Corrective surgery if there is any malalignment
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