How Total Ankle Replacement Can Help Arthritis

You’ve always been an active person. From sports and exercise to weekends exploring hiking trails and walks along the river, you’ve cherished your mobility. But lately, you’ve been experiencing stiffness and pain in your ankle and you’re wondering if it might be arthritis. 

Ankle arthritis can result from wear-and-tear in your ankle joint over the years, rheumatoid arthritis, or a traumatic injury. Regardless of the cause, the condition can cause pain and mobility issues.

While ankle arthritis is not as common as knee and hip arthritis, it can severely impact your movement and quality of life. At Lakeridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers, located in Lake Ridge and Stafford, Virginia, our podiatric physicians are specially trained and have extensive foot and ankle surgery experience. 

What causes ankle arthritis?

Your ankle joint connects your shin bone, also called the tibia, to your foot bone. Ankle arthritis occurs when the cartilage that lines the ankle joint breaks down.

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear and the breakdown of cartilage that cushions your bones' ends. While osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, most ankle arthritis cases are caused by rheumatoid arthritis. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease where your immune system, which normally protects your body, mistakenly attacks your joints. Both forms of arthritis result in pain, swelling, inflammation, and impaired mobility and are chronic conditions. In fact, about 90% of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience issues with their feet and ankles

How can total ankle replacement help my arthritis?

There is no cure for arthritis, but fortunately, there are many effective treatment options that can reduce pain and stiffness. As with most forms of arthritis, our team will recommend that you start with nonsurgical treatment options. These treatments may include activity modification, losing weight, physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and cortisone injections.  

If these treatment options don’t offer the pain relief and mobility you need, surgery may be a good option for you. Total ankle replacement surgery can reduce pain and improve your mobility. Ankle fusion, another surgery option for ankle arthritis, is effective for pain reduction but limits ankle motion. 

During an ankle replacement procedure, your doctor removes the damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Studies show a 90% satisfaction rate with ankle replacement surgery four years after surgery

If your ankle arthritis is causing pain and impacting your quality of life, call Lakeridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers for a consultation with one of our foot and ankle surgical experts to find out if you're a good candidate for total ankle replacement surgery. 

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