Ankle Osteoarthritis

Ankle Osteoarthritis pain

Last Updated July 29th, 2019

Studies indicate that walking might be beneficial in case of ankle arthritis. Many believe that any kind of physical excursion is not good for patients of ankle osteoarthritis since it might aggravate the pain. However, walking 90-150 minutes per week can help ease the pain and inflammation. It is important to wear well-fitting walking shoes and ankle brace (if required) when walking to prevent wear and tear of tissues.
In addition to mild walking, there are other exercise options available for ankle osteoarthritis patients such as strength training, water-based exercises, and balance therapies. These can help the patient increase the range of motion of joints and improve endurance. Such exercises can also help regain balance and posture. However, make sure that you are assisted by a trained physiotherapist, doctor, and/or a nurse before you start performing these exercises.
Arthritis is a condition of joint inflammation. Any food (or habit) that increases inflammatory responses (free radical damage) in the body can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. Some of commonly consumed foods in this list are – fried and processed foods, sugary treats, refined carbs, dairy, corn oil, alcohol, tobacco (in any form), foods with added preservatives and colors, etc.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, it doesn’t mean an end to a normal healthy life. There are several healthy improvements in diet and lifestyle that you can implement to ensure that the arthritis doesn’t progress and become worse. Healthy exercise, active lifestyle, consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, healthy stress coping mechanisms can help you bounce back to health. You can also make use of supportive devices such as braces or rollators to minimize wear and tear on joints.

Overview

The ankle joint is the most commonly injured joint in the body and experiences more pressure than any other joint in the body. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of joints while arthritis is a result of internal causes. Typically, ankle osteoarthritis occurs if one’s ankle has been inflicted with injuries during their earlier years. Older adults offer experience pains in the joint and chalk it up to old age and ankle osteoarthritis is hence, often left undiagnosed. If left untreated, during later stages, ankle osteoarthritis poses to be a destructor of physical activities.

 

Definition of ankle osteoarthritis

Ankle Osteoarthritis swellingAnatomy of the ankle: The ankle joint is made of three bones: tibia, fibula, and talus. The ends of the bones are covered by articular cartilage.

The movement of these bones over the cartilage is lubricated by synovium which is a thin lining that surrounds the joints. Ligaments help hold these bones in place.

When the articular cartilage is damaged, the smooth movement of the joints is disrupted. This leads to inflammation, pain, and stiffness of the ankle. This disease is called ankle osteoarthritis.

 

What causes ankle osteoarthritis?

Ankle osteoarthritis is typically a long-term effect of an injury sustained early on in life.

  • Injuries: Multiple/severe sprains, fractures, and other injuries cause severe damage to the cartilage of the ankle which cannot be completely healed. Over the years, due to wear and tear, the cartilage is further damaged causing ankle osteoarthritis.
  • Primary osteoarthritis: Regular wear and tear of the joints, which is observed by all older adults at different extents.
  • Obesity: The heavier one is, the more pressure is exerted on the ankle joints and thus, increases the chances of ankle osteoarthritis.
  • Inactivity: The muscles that surround the joints become weak with inactivity. Low-impact exercises like walking and swimming strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints.
  • Clubfoot: Abnormal positioning of the foot which is normally present at birth.
  • Inflammatory arthritis: Inflammation of the joints that cause pain and stiffness which progressively intensifies with age. This is an autoimmune disease which is caused when the body’s defense system attacks different tissue instead of foreign entities.

 

Symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis

Ankle Osteoarthritis painThe symptoms initially are very subtle but gradually because severe. During the early stages, pain occurs only when the ankle undergoes physical exertion, but during the later stages, pain can occur even while resting. Though pain is the most noticeable of symptoms, there are other indicators of ankle osteoarthritis:

  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Reddening
  • Stiffness that restricts movement of the ankle
  • Tenderness at the joints
  • Squeaking sounds or sensing of crunches while in movement

 

Long-term effects of ankle osteoarthritis

With proper treatment, surgery and time, the severity of ankle osteoarthritis is reduced and day to day activities can be carried with initial ease. During the last stages of osteoarthritis, the cartilage is damaged unevenly. In order for the balance this irregularity, the bones and joints will shift which will affect the gait of a person. The long-term effects of ankle osteoarthritis are not limited to just the ankle and can eventually cause arthritis in the knee as well as hip joints. The wear and tear of the ankle joints is an inevitable occurrence and with age, everyone faces this pain at different severities.

 

Vulnerable groups

Those who have sustained injuries to the ankle while younger are the most affected by ankle osteoarthritis. People with careers that require lifting heavy weight for extended periods of time, frequently bending, standing for long hours or continuously exerting physical stress on the ankles are also affected because these activities cause the cartilage to tear more quickly. People who are overweight are also victims of ankle osteoarthritis.

 

Genetics of ankle osteoarthritis

Ankle Osteoarthritis painAnkle osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the older adults. But on rare occasions, due to genetics, one can be diagnosed with the disease in their 20s.

This rarity is because of the presence of a protein collagen which makes up the cartilage. Research conducted by Carroll GJ proves, in those diagnosed with ankle osteoarthritis, the presence of MCP2,3 is frequently observed and a strong link between HFE gene mutation and ankle osteoarthritis is established.

It is also stated that HFE mutations are an indicator of type 2 polyarticular OA phenotype.

 

Diagnosis

Since ankle osteoarthritis is a long-term side effect of a sustained ankle injury, medical history of the injury is essential to make an efficient diagnosis. The medical history of a family member diagnosed with osteoarthritis is important too. Other tests conducted to make a conclusive diagnosis are listed below.

  • X-Rays: Regular X-Rays are taken to monitor any changes or abnormalities in the joint structure.
  • Gait analysis: Limping or flinching while walking will indicate pain in the joints which might be because of ankle osteoarthritis.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or CT (Computed tomography) scan: These tests check the condition of the bones and soft tissues in the joint.
  • Blood tests are also conducted to check for the type of arthritis.

 

Treatment and prevention

Treatment 

  • Medications and steroid injections to help ease the pain caused due to the inflammation of joints are prescribed.
  • Well-fitting and comfortable footwear are prescribed and designed to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and inhibit the progression of this condition.
  • An ankle-foot orthosis or ankle brace are prescribed to help restore shape and reduce the progression of ankle osteoarthritis.
  • Physiotherapy is recommended to help relieve the pain and ensure that there is movement in the joints.
  • In severe cases, surgery to replace the ankle will be done. Here, the ankle is replaced with a prosthetic ankle to reduce pain and restore movement. Surgery to fuse the ankle bones is done to help restore movement and reduce pain.

Prevention 

  • Consume a diet with glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Do not do any strenuous activities.
  • Do not take any injury lightly and get a checkup done.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not lead a sedentary lifestyle.

 

Facts

  • 15% of the world’s populations are affected by joint pains due to osteoarthritis.
  • Out of these, 1% are affected with ankle osteoarthritis.
  • Traumatic injuries such as fractures and severe sprains in the ankle tend to cause osteoarthritis in the ankle.

Facts

  • Those who have been diagnosed with arthritis due to hereditary factors tend to have ankle osteoarthritis.
  • Clubfoot tends to affect 1 in every 500-1,000 children.

Facts

  • Those who receive treatment for clubfeet tend to have a lower chance of developing ankle osteoarthritis.

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Studies indicate that walking might be beneficial in case of ankle arthritis. Many believe that any kind of physical excursion is not good for patients of ankle osteoarthritis since it might aggravate the pain. However, walking 90-150 minutes per week can help ease the pain and inflammation. It is important to wear well-fitting walking shoes and ankle brace (if required) when walking to prevent wear and tear of tissues.
In addition to mild walking, there are other exercise options available for ankle osteoarthritis patients such as strength training, water-based exercises, and balance therapies. These can help the patient increase the range of motion of joints and improve endurance. Such exercises can also help regain balance and posture. However, make sure that you are assisted by a trained physiotherapist, doctor, and/or a nurse before you start performing these exercises.
Arthritis is a condition of joint inflammation. Any food (or habit) that increases inflammatory responses (free radical damage) in the body can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. Some of commonly consumed foods in this list are – fried and processed foods, sugary treats, refined carbs, dairy, corn oil, alcohol, tobacco (in any form), foods with added preservatives and colors, etc.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, it doesn’t mean an end to a normal healthy life. There are several healthy improvements in diet and lifestyle that you can implement to ensure that the arthritis doesn’t progress and become worse. Healthy exercise, active lifestyle, consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, healthy stress coping mechanisms can help you bounce back to health. You can also make use of supportive devices such as braces or rollators to minimize wear and tear on joints.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Exercise regularly, this helps in ensuring that there is no stiffness in the joints and reduces pain.
  • Wear comfortable and well fitting footwear, these tend to reduce the pain and slow the progression of the condition.
  • Maintain an ideal body weight, doing so tends to put lesser pressure on the ankles.
Don'ts
  • Partake in strenuous activities, as it can increase the pain and the severity of the symptoms.
  • Consume alcohol, doing so tends to nullify the effects of the medications and can increase the symptoms of the condition.
  • Indulge in smoking, as it tends to narrow the blood vessels and restricts blood flow; therefore increasing pain.

 

 

 

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Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that bromelain can bring…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
Tachycardia heart
Cardiac Profile Cardiac profile is panel of blood tests performed to check cholesterol level and other heart disease markers to…
Smiling-happy-pretty-woman-with-flowers
Laughter Therapy– The Best Medicine for Healthy Living Read how laughter influences your stress hormones, belly fat, heart health, and more. Use these simple tips to…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
Elderberry: More than just a folk medicine for cold and sinusitis While the raw elderberry can be a hazard, when consumed in the form of teas and syrup, elderberry…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
iron deficiency profile
Iron Deficiency Profile An iron deficiency profile is a battery of blood tests which are performed in order to determine the…
shoudler exercises
Keep your shoulders pain-free with these shoulder exercises Shoulder exercises are important in order to prevent chronic back and neck pain. Learn more about how you…