Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joints. It is especially common in the smaller joints of
the ankles and hands. There are many kinds of arthritis that can affect the ankle, and symptoms
will vary by type. The most common types of arthritis affecting the ankle are osteoarthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis and posttraumatic arthritis. Because symptoms and treatment options vary, it
is important to consult with your doctor to develop a plan that is right for you. Our Atlanta
podiatrist can help.
Most common types of ankle arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. That is it results with wear and tear or ongoing use
of the joint. It is more common with the approach of middle age; and is the most common type of
arthritis. The problem is caused over time as the cushion between the joints wears with use.
Although there is no cure our Atlanta podiatrist can offer treatments that bring relief, improve
function and prevent worsening of symptoms. Symptoms include reduced flexibility, stiffness
Posttraumatic arthritis can occur after injury to the ankle or foot. As a part of the exam our
American Board certified doctor will ask you about previous injuries. You may have to think
back. Posttraumatic arthritis develops over time as the injury contributes to the eventual wearing
of cartilage. Injuries that impact the joint surface are more likely to lead to posttraumatic
arthritis. Injured joints are more likely than non-injured joints to develop arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis results when the membrane that lines the joints is compromised in such a
way that the joint itself becomes damaged. Symptoms include reduced mobility, reduced
function, pain, swelling and inflammation.
Our Atlanta podiatrist will use a number of methods to rule out or diagnose arthritis. These may
include watching you walk, examining your shoes, blood tests, imaging and x-rays. Using that
information, you can decide together on a treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
Treatment options include:
Medication – over the counter pain relievers can reduce pain and swelling. Prescription
medication may also be a good option.
Modifications – talk with your doctor about any patterns you notice. How long have you
experienced the pain? What remedies have been effective in the past? When are you most
uncomfortable? If you are engaging in activities that aggravate the problem,
modifications may be necessary.
Physical therapy – over time arthritis reduces range of motion and can impact your ability
to enjoy normal activities. Physical therapy can prevent further reductions in mobility and
may even help you restore some range of motion.
Assistive devices – our Atlanta podiatrist can talk with you about devices that reduce
pressure on your joints and make walking more comfortable. These include braces, shoe
inserts and walking canes.
In some cases, surgery may be required. Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia will
work with you to explore every non-surgical option first. Our goal is to help you live pain free
with as much mobility as possible. Call us today to schedule a consultation.