About one in every six people has some form of arthritis. Essentially, arthritis is the loss of cartilage resulting in symptoms such as pain and limited movement. Specialists at Orthopaedic Associates utilize new technological advancements in treating Albany foot and ankle problems associated with arthritis of the ankle, enhancing peripheral function and joint movement.
Diagnosis of ankle arthritis
When diagnosing the severity of your condition, your doctor will perform a physical examination that involves a lot of palpation or pushing on different parts of your foot to understand where you have pain, which will help them develop a suitable approach to address and relieve your symptoms.
Ankle arthritis symptoms include joint stiffness and swelling, pain when you move your leg, joint tenderness, trouble moving, walking, and putting weight on the joint.
A physical exam seeks to determine the site of pain and when it hurts by evaluating the types of movements that cause the pain. A thorough assessment will ensure a better diagnosis and, ultimately, a better treatment plan that will help you regain the foot and ankle function that is pain-free with no limitation to movements.
Your doctor will also perform additional imaging tests, including x-rays, to better evaluate any deformity or other underlying sources of pain.
Causes of ankle arthritis
Most ankle arthritis is a direct result of trauma or sprains. As your arthritis progressively worsens, cartilage is depleted, causing the bone to press on bone, which is the primary cause of foot and ankle pain.
Surgical treatment options available for ankle arthritis
This treatment option involves using a camera and a shaver through incisions to clean out the damaged portions of cartilage and bone spur.
Your care provider will go into the ankle through an open approach, take out all of the damaged cartilage and get the two bones, the tailless and the tibia, to grow together as a single unit through a combination of plates and screws. Removing the painful joint is what causes relief. However, this procedure causes a small loss of ankle motion.
This surgical procedure is also known as total ankle arthroplasty and helps relieve pain while preserving joint motion. Your doctor will remove the arthritic bone and replace it with implants. However, this procedure is associated with a high risk of infection. Additionally, the implants may wear out over time.
Deciding between ankle fusion and total ankle replacement therapy
The two techniques have their pros and cons, with ankle replacement ensuring that you retain your joint motion, but the implants are vulnerable to wear and tear. Ankle fusion is beneficial because the procedure is definitive, upon healing, you will not need additional surgery on that joint.
There are numerous treatment approaches for foot and ankle pain that can help you get back to being healthy and fully functional and that vary depending on the root cause of your symptoms. Contact Orthopaedic Associates by phone or request an appointment online to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about pain in your ankle or foot.