Arthritis is a term used to define joint inflammation. Generally speaking, arthritis can describe more than 100 diseases. The most common form of ankle arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a condition characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. It is caused by wear and tear of cartilage in the joint due to repeated stress and activity over time. Injuries can also lead to osteoarthritis. Symptoms can include pain and stiffness in the joint, swelling in or near the joint, difficulty bending the joint, and difficulty walking. It should be noted that similar symptoms may be caused by another form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), orthotic devices, bracing, immobilization, steroid injections, and laser therapy.
“Surgery for osteoarthritis can help decrease pain and improve function. In fact, when the patient doesn’t see substantial progress by nonsurgical treatment, surgery may be the only option. The decision on surgery takes into consideration such things as the patient’s lifestyle.”