Ankle Osteoarthritis

Treatment for Ankle Osteoarthritis

Capital Orthopaedics specialises in treating conditions of the ankle, including ankle osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis include pain, swelling, stiffness, weakness and instability.

Ankle arthritis is the degeneration of bone surfaces in your ankle joint. It can be caused by a repetitive action, an impact or twisting injury, or wear and tear over time.

If you have ongoing ankle pain or any problems with your ankle joint, an early diagnosis is key to effective treatment and preventing the development of osteoarthritis.

If you are suffering from ankle osteoarthritis, our highly experienced team of consultant orthopaedic surgeons, radiologists and physiotherapists are dedicated to providing the most effective treatment – from exercise therapy to injections and more interventional treatment.

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What is Ankle Osteoarthritis?

The bones in your ankle joint are coated with a slippery layer of cartilage. If this wears away or gets damaged, the rough exposed bone surface causes friction in the joint. The more the bones rub against each other, the more the surfaces degenerate.

As your bone tries to heal itself, bony lumps can form, which cause catching in the joint. The result is pain, swelling and stiffness.

What Causes Ankle Osteoarthritis?

The cartilage of your ankle joint can wear away – leading to exposed bone surfaces – for a number of reasons. Some common causes and risk factors include:

  • Fracture: a broken bone can lead to degeneration of the bone surfaces – sometimes many years after the injury.
  • Sprain: an ankle sprain can lead to instability and misalignment, causing the bones to rub against each other, wearing away the cartilage and exposing bone.
  • Wear and tear: the cartilage in your ankle joints degenerates with age – particularly if you are active or on your feet a lot.
  • Repetitive actions: particularly in activities such as football or ballet dancing.
  • Genetics: some people are more likely to get osteoarthritis if there is family history of the condition.

What Are The Symptoms of Ankle Osteoarthritis?

Typical symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty walking or weight bearing
  • Instability
  • Clicking or catching feeling

How Can Ankle Osteoarthritis Be Treated?

At Capital Orthopaedics, we offer state-of-the-art diagnostics, including x-rays, CT scans, along with MRI and ultrasound to assess related soft tissue damage.

The symptoms of osteoarthritis can be managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) – such as ibuprofen – but most cases require managed treatment.

Our consultants and physiotherapists provide the following treatments, depending on the extent of your osteoarthritis:

  • Physiotherapy: exercises to improve your ankle strength and mobility.
  • Podiatry: providing special shoe inserts to reduce pain and improve ankle stability.
  • Injections: anti-inflammatory steroid injections to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Arthroscopic surgery: minimally invasive surgery to smooth bone surfaces and damaged cartilage, remove bone spurs and repair soft tissue.
  • Fusion surgery: removing damaged cartilage and pinning together bone surfaces to prevent them rubbing against each other.
  • Ankle replacement: replacing severely damaged bone with prosthetic parts.

Get in Touch with Capital Orthopaedics

Capital Orthopaedics is based at three central London locations – The Cromwell Hospital, Basinghall Clinic in The City, and Platinum Medical Centre near Regent’s Park, offering state-of-the-art diagnostics and the very latest in surgical and non-surgical treatments for all musculoskeletal conditions.

If you have any pain, instability or stiffness in your foot or ankle, get in touch with Simon Moyes and the team here for an expert diagnosis, and fast and effective treatment.

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Other Ankle Conditions We Treat

Footballer’s Ankle

Pain in the front of your ankle can be caused by anterior ankle impingement – when soft tissues get trapped between the bones as you flex your foot upwards. This is often the result of repetitive kicking or flexing actions. The soft tissues can get pinched as a result of scarring or inflammation, or if a bony outgrowth (bone spur) forms.

Posterior Impingement

This painful condition is caused by soft tissue being pinched between the bones at the back of your ankle. It’s usually the result of repetitive actions with a pointed toe (eg ballet dancing, football, gymnastics or fast bowling), but can be caused by a sprain or chronic ankle instability. Physiotherapy and injections can improve mobility and reduce inflammation, while keyhole surgery is used to remove bone spurs or repair damaged tissues.

Peroneal Subluxation

Displacement of the tendon that runs under the bony lump on the outside of your ankle (usually after a sprain) can lead to pain, swelling and instability. We offer physiotherapy to build up the muscles and improve stability. With ongoing peroneal subluxation, arthroscopic surgery can be carried out to fix the tendon back in place.

Torn Ankle Ligament Injury

A sprained ankle is initially treated with physiotherapy to build up strength and improve range of motion. For more serious ruptures, chronic ankle instability, our orthopaedic surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to repair ligaments, smooth damaged bone and stabilise your ankle.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals – from Mr Simon Moyes, the renowned orthopaedic consultant surgeon, to physicians, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
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