Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Dec. 29, 2010
Ankle arthritis occurs when one wears out the joint between the shin bone (tibia) and ankle bone (talus), also called the tibiotalar joint. The ankle joint is affected by arthritis much less often than other joints.
Common causes of ankle arthritis include:
Symptoms of ankle arthritis include:
A physical examination of the foot, with focus on pain, will help your doctor with diagnosis.
A review of your medical history will also help your doctor understand if your symptoms are a result of a past foot injury, or if arthritis runs in your family.
X-ray imaging can show changes in the spacing between bones or in the shape of the bones, and also rule out other underlying conditions like fracture. Other imaging tools, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may also assist in diagnosis.
Symptoms of arthritis may be relieved with improved (wider and less restrictive) footwear and orthodics, such as shoe inserts or arch supports, which may offer your feet padding and shielding. In some cases, custom-made shoes may be recommended.
Anti-inflammatory medicines -- such as aspirin or ibuprofen -- or cortisone injections may also be prescribed by your doctor.
Physical therapy, weight control, and nutritional supplements may also be recommended.
When nonsurgical treatments are no longer effective, surgery may be considered.
At Duke Orthopaedics, our doctors often treat severe ankle arthritis with ankle replacement surgery. The following video demonstrates ankle replacement surgery.