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ANKLE ARTHRITIS: WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT

Dr. K. Krishnaiah, Thursday, October 31, 2019

WHAT IS ANKLE ARTHRITIS?

Most ankle arthritis is as a result of what is known as "wear and tear" (or osteoarthritis). Other forms of ankle arthritis exist which can affect the ankle such as inflammatory arthritis, an example of which would be rheumatoid arthritis.


WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?

There are two types of treatments for ankle arthritis: conservative treatment and surgery. In the conservative (non-operative) management, which can be useful in the early stages of ankle arthritis, doctors prescribe physiotherapy. It can help by strengthening some of the muscles around the joint but generally ankle arthritis is a difficult condition to treat successfully with physiotherapy.

Injections of steroid and local anaesthetic into the joint can help for shorter periods of time but tend to need to be repeated.

Orthotic management can be very useful for ankle arthritis. This involves both using a rigid plastic splint which runs from behind the calf down on to the foot (an AFO or ankle foot orthosis) combined with the use of a shoe or boot with a stiffened sole with a gentle curve from heel to toe, a rocker sole.

The splint blocks the normal ankle range of movement, reducing the force through the joint and irritation of the painful joint surfaces. The rocker type sole will then compensate for this movement, which has been deliberately blocked.

In the surgical management of ankle arthritis, there are a few treatment options:

  • Ankle Arthroscopy: It is a surgical procedure that uses a fibre-optic viewing camera and small surgical tools to operate in and around the ankle joint through small incisions. Ankle arthroscopy is performed for the surgical evaluation and treatment of a variety of ankle conditions. Arthroscopic surgery can have a quicker recovery time than traditional open surgery.
  • Arthroscopic Debridement: A debridement for ankle arthritis is useful in the earlier stages of the arthritic process. It is normally performed as a day case procedure and generally patients can weight bear straight away on the operated ankle.
  • Ankle Fusion: Ankle fusion involves preparing both sides of the joint back to healthy and bleeding bone. The arthritic joint lining is removed and the ankle joint is placed in a functional position and held there until the bone has grown across the joint and the ankle is thus fused. The ankle is held in position whilst the fusion is occurring and this is most commonly done with large screws which are buried beneath the skin.
  • Total Ankle Replacement: This procedure involves replacing the two worn out surfaces with replacement highly polished surfaces and adding a high molecular weight polyethylene spacer between the two surfaces. Ankle replacement generally maintains the range of movement which a patient has pre-operatively. It is not suitable for heavy manual or sporting activities and probably has a ten-year survivorship in the region of 85%.


WHY KIMS?

At KIMS, one of the best arthritis treatment hospitals in Hyderabad, our team specializes in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle problems to ensure an accurate assessment ankle arthritis treatment and prescribe an effective treatment plan. Our ankle arthritis treatment specialist doctors in Hyderabad takes care of every patient to understand if they need a conventional treatment or require surgery. We are famous for having one the best arthritis specialist doctors in Hyderabad who ensure that patient needs come first. Apart from the arthritis department, our foot and ankle clinic provides podiatry appointment for regular as well as emergency podiatry cases.

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