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Foot and ankle joints arthritis

In some cases, if you feel painful and stiff in your feet and ankles, it may not for growing age, but it can be arthritis. If left untreated, the pain may get worse, eventually becoming painful that you are no longer able to walk even a short distance. Severe arthritis can limit your mobile and limit your quality of life, but with proper treatment, you can slow the development of arthritis and live a more productive life.

Ankles are less frequently engaged in osteoarthritis. However, it does not mean that arthritis won’t affect the ankle. It has the ability to engage in inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. It also often involved in arthritis occurs after injury.

foot and ankle


About Arthritis

Foot and ankle anatomy

Basic definitions of arthritis foot and ankle

The cause of foot and ankle arthritis

Risk Factors

Signs and symptoms

The diagnosis of arthritis of the feet and ankles

Foot and ankle arthritis can be treated?


  1. About Arthritis

Arthritis-related inflammation and swelling in and around the body’s joints and surrounding soft tissues. Arthritis may occur in the back, neck, hip, knee, shoulder or your hand, but it also occurs in the feet and your ankles. Nearly half of people aged 60 and 70 have arthritis of the foot and ankle that would not cause symptoms.

There are many different types of arthritis. The most common type, osteoarthritis (OSS-tee-oh-ar-THRI-tiss), results from “wear and tear” damage to the articular cartilage that comes with age. As a result, pain, stiffness and swollen may come to suffer.

In addition, sudden injury such as fractures and trauma, ligament tear or sprained ankle just can cause merchants to become future arthritis. Sometimes a traumatic injury leads to arthritis in the joints were injured although the business is appropriate medical care at the time of injury.

A conventional type, rheumatoid arthritis, is an inflammatory condition caused by a common mucosal irritation (the synovium). People with rheumatoid arthritis for at least 10 years are almost always developed arthritis in some parts of the foot and ankle.

In many types of arthritis, joint degeneration progress occurs and smooth “cushion” of cartilage in the joints is gradually lost. As a result, the bones rub together and wear. Soft tissue in joints also can begin to wear down. Arthritis can cause pain and eventually lead to movement restrictions, loss of joint function, defects in the affected joints.

  1. Foot and ankle anatomy

foot and ankle

Ankle: Although it is often called a joint, the ankle is actually two joints: True ankle joint, and another is subtalar joint

The bones are covered with articular cartilage. The joint space is lined with a thin layer called the synovial membrane and synovial fluid. The function of ligaments is holding the ankle bones together. Additionally, the main veins include:

  • Achilles tendon
  • Hallicus flexor longus
  • Flexor digitorum
  • Peroneal tendons
  • Posterior tibialis tendon
  • Anterior tibialis tendon


The foot has 26 bones and 30 joints over. Tough bands of tissue called ligaments hold together. The muscles, tendons and ligaments work with multiple joints of the foot to control movement. When you get arthritis in your feet, you develop pain and limited movement so that you cannot walk well.

  1. Basic definitions of arthritis foot and ankle

Ankle arthritis is a clinical condition in which the coupling foot to foot, called tibiotalar or ankle joints, has been damaged or worn cartilage. There are three bones involved in this section: the tibia, the fibula and the talus. Arthritis may include any or all of the bones. Ankle is much less likely to be involved with arthritis than the hip or knee. Ankles are less frequently engaged in osteoarthritis. However, arthritis does not affect the ankle. It has the ability to engage in inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. It also often involved in arthritis occurs after injury.

foot and ankle

  1. The cause of foot and ankle arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis (OA): The most common type of arthritis, results from “wear and tear” damage to the articular cartilage that comes with age, leading to pain, stiffness and swollen
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): The way you stand wile to check the alignment of your feet can also wear that reveal patterns confirmed the RA-related problems in your ankles.
  • “Post-traumatic” arthritis: When arthritis occurs in the ankle, it is usually caused by an old injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. Doctors call this “traumatic” arthritis. Ankle arthritis can be a slow response to a major sprain, dislocation, or fractures.
  • Juvenile arthritis: the term used when it started inflammatory to describe before age 16.
  • Gout: happens when uric acid excess
  • Deposition Disease (pseudogout). Although pseudogout occurs mainly in older people, it can affect younger people, especially if they have other health problems. Like gout, pseudogout can cause severe pain and swelling, often going up overnight. Pseudogout usually affects the knees, but it can also affect other joints, including the ankles.
  • Reactive arthritis. Characteristics of reactive arthritis include inflammation and swelling of the joints, eyes and internal structure of the gastrointestinal region or urogenital
  • Lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that attack healthy tissues, including joints, skin, heart, lungs and kidneys.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: a form of arthritis with the skin disease psoriasis. Skin diseases are often ahead of arthritis; in a small percentage of patients develop business cases before the skin disease. Psoriatic arthritis usually involves the ankle.
  • Scleroderma. Literally translated “hard skin,” scleroderma is a general term for disorders related to abnormal growth of the connective tissue supporting the skin and internal organs. In some cases, thickened skin at the joints, such as the ankle, can cause joint stiffness.
  • Sprains. The ankle injury most common sprain occurs when the ligaments supporting the ankle usually becomes spread outside their normal range. Doctors sprain grade on a scale of 1-3, based on the severity of the damage, with a representative of stretching and some light damage to the ligaments and the third strand represents a tear full ligaments.
  • Ankle fractures. A cracked or broken, the ankle may include a break in one of the ankle bones to make up, or it may include a number of different bone fracture. Ankle Fractures can occur if you rotate or roll your ankle while walking, running, going up or down stairs or playing sports, such as sliding into the base in baseball. It also can be caused by tripping or falling or impact of a car accident. A broken ankle can cause the same symptoms as a sprained ankle – severe pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, or appear deformed – so it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. In some cases, bone fractures occur because of a ligament tear and pull a piece of bone with it. This is called avulsion fracture.

foot and ankle

  1. Risk Factors

  • Risk activities

An interview with your doctor can reveal what works leading to throbbing ankle. Annoying when you walk on uneven ground may suggest an unstable ankle or subtalar regional problems, arthritis ankle. Instability and swelling to weakened ligaments.

  • Diet

No famous nutritional components directly related to ankle arthritis. A diet healthy balance, contributing to the overall health improves any chronic condition. Also, the smaller the ankle joint and the body weight is concentrated in a small joint surface. Small decrease overall body weight can have a significant impact to the stress on the ankle joint. Weight loss generally improves the comfort of a business that carries weight.

  • Incidence

Ankle arthritis may occur from wear and tear as part of a system of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or as a result of an injury. Only in very rare incident ankle arthritis is the result of an infection. Even then, it is very unlikely to be spread.

  • Lifestyle risk factors

There is some evidence that a high level of participation in sports and entertainment associated with a higher rate of foot and ankle arthritis.

  • Risk factors for injury and trauma

Ankle arthritis is usually associated with previous fractures of the ankle or any bones make up the ankle joint. It also is likely to be repeated sprains of the ankle can lead to foot and ankle arthritis over time.

  1. Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of osteoarthritis of the feet and ankles usually include:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Reduced ability to move, walk, or bear weight
  • Stiffness and swelling in the joints
  • Pain and swelling are important warning signs of ankle arthritis.
  • It’s hard to predict the progression of the symptoms of ankle arthritis. Some cases progress was slow, and some can progress very quickly.
  • Because of the small joints and closer together, many small joints near the ankle joint can be affected by similar activities, it may take the specific test and x-rayed to determine joint is causing the symptoms.
  • In addition, it can affect the inability of the foot to move up and down as it will accelerate the stalled cars
  1. The diagnosis of arthritis of the feet and ankles

  • Anamnesis

Diagnose an ankle problem to start with a physical exam and review your medical history. To diagnose arthritis, your doctor asks about the injuries and infections earlier. In the medical history, the doctor will ask you questions like:

  • Are you experiencing any symptoms?
  • When did you start to notice them? Or it is the result of an injury?
  • Have the symptoms worse after the operation or rest? There are some activities that make them worse – or better?
  • You have to remember that there is a disease or accident duration of your symptoms began?
  • Are you experiencing any of the symptoms in joints outside of the ankle (s)?
  • Do any members of your family or ankle arthritis other problems?
  • You have other medical problems that can cause your symptoms?
  • The test Gait

Do not be surprised if your doctor closely watches how you came into the room. summarize your lower limbs will give clues as to how well the hip, knee, ankle and doing.

How the foot hits the ground also tells a story. For example, if you move your ankle is restricted, raise your heels off the floor and bend knee preterm your style shock. Your doctor or your arthritis experts will examine the rotation of your foot relative to the leg.

The doctor will look for areas of tenderness, pain or swelling, as well as signs that the business could be damaged. Depending on the results of the history and examination, the doctor may request tests and imaging tests to help make or confirm the diagnosis.

  • Physical examination in lab

Often a blood or joint fluid may help your doctor determine the diagnosis. For example, a blood test showed high blood levels of rheumatoid factor – a type of antibody can work against gamma globulin blood components – or an antibody, abnormal antibodies against the nuclei of cells, can suggest lupus or other inflammatory.

Tests of the liquid is drawn by a needle from the joints may show uric acid crystals, confirming the diagnosis of some diseases.

foot and ankle

  • Test Images

Imaging tests may allow doctors to see the internal structure of your ankle is not invasive.

  • X-rays (radiographs). An X-ray standard is a simple test in which an X-ray beam is passed through the ankle to create a two-dimensional image of the bones forming the joint. In some cases, a contrast material is injected into the ankle to allow doctors to see more clearly on X-ray business. This is calledarthrography.
  • Computerized axial tomography (CAT scan): the combination of X-ray equipment and sophisticated computers to produce multiple images. They also showed soft tissue such as cartilage, ligaments and muscles, clearer traditional X-rays, so they are more useful for the diagnosis of certain foot and ankle problems as arthritis.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This process uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create images of the internal structures in black and white and gray. Because an MRI showed soft tissue as well as bone, it is especially useful for the diagnosis of traumatic cartilage, tendons and ligaments, as well as the areas of swelling.
  • Bone scan. This technique can be used to view the stress fracture caused by repeated injury. The material collected from the bones, especially the new growth areas where the broken bone is healed, allowing the doctor to see areas with a scanner.

foot and ankle

  1. Foot and ankle arthritis can be treated?

Pain from the ankle joints managed to lose weight, change activity, analgesics, bracing and sometimes surgery. Steps to reduce pain and can reduce feelings of fatigue and accompanying pain. There are many steps in the treatment of arthritis

  • Diet

Weight loss is helpful because excess weight causes a magnified increase in weight on the ankle joints small. The role of diet in the treatment of foot and ankle arthritis is debatable. No road diet has been proven that will reduce operating arthritis. However, a healthy diet contributes to your overall health will play an active role in the management of arthritis. In addition, weight loss is very helpful in the management of ankle arthritis. Because of the ankle is a fraction, the weight is concentrated in the ankle joint.

  • Exercise and therapy

Rest is common approach and succeeded in reducing the symptoms. Unfortunately, ankle resting on request reducing, standing and running. Pool and cycling can be tolerated. Exercise can help keep your feet do not hurt, powerful and flexible. The exercise can be good for your feet include:

  • Achilles stretch. With your palms flat on a wall, lean against the wall and put one leg forward and one leg back. Leaning forward, leaving your heel on the floor. Repeat this exercise three times, holding for 10 seconds on each repetition.
  • Big-toe stretch.
  • Toe drag and curl

foot and ankle

  • Drug

Analgesics, reducing inflammation, slows bone loss, change of inflammatory disease progression or prevent joint damage is an important part of treatment for ankle problems. The drugs used to treat arthritis and other problems affecting the ankle will depend largely on the form of arthritis or related diseases you have. Some common suggestions:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID): help to ease the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
  • These drugs act quickly, similar to cortisone by your own body, is used to control inflammation.
  • used to reduce pain, but not inflammation in arthritis. When used as prescribed, they are also a suitable, and possibly safer option for people with arthritis cause pain but not inflammation.
  • Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs): used to change the progression of arthritis.
  • Gout medications. Some drugs for gout are designed to reduce pain and inflammation of an acute attack.
  • Additional biological responses. The latest category of drugs used for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory several forms of arthritis are biological agents. Currently there are eight such agents approved by the FDA. Each blocks a step in the inflammatory process without inhibiting the entire immune system. In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, certain biological agents can be used in adolescent arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Osteoporosis drugs. Osteoporosis drugs are those used to slow bone loss or body building new bone. Although they are not used specifically to treat the ankle, bones are less prone to fractures. Ankle fractures from osteoporosis are not common, but they can happen.

foot and ankle

  • Surgery

If a fractured ankle or arthritis interferes with the function and cause pain that cannot be controlled by medication, surgery may be an option – or a necessity.

  • Repair fractures.

The most common reason for surgery is ankle to repair broken bones. Surgery may require the placement of hardware, such as metal plates and screws to hold the bone fragments in place while they heal.

  • Ankle arthroscopy.

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery is performed by inserting a scope narrow lighting and equipment through a small incision in the skin above the ankle. Surgeons can use the procedure to remove pieces of cartilage or bone debris from public spaces or to assess or repair a damaged ligament.

  • Ankle fusion.

This procedure involves the surgical removal of the surface of the joints affected by arthritis and bone join with plates and screws until they grow together, or fused. While the left ankle procedures without moving up and down or from side to side, it could be an option analgesic efficacy and long-term ankle affected by arthritis. If the ankle is a consolidation, it is important that the opposite ankle still have good portability.

  • Ankle replacement.

Although the procedure is less common than hip or knee replacement, replace a damaged ankle might be an option when arthritis interferes with joint function and pain that is not relieved drug use. During ankle replacement, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the ankle, removing bone and cartilage damage, bone related reshapes and then attaching the artificial joint parts.

  • Ankle distraction arthroplasty.

This innovative procedure uses an external fixator, or frames, like scaffoldings, are assembled around the legs and feet and tied surgical pins and wires. Frame pull the damaged joint surface outside and, in the recent MRI studies, has been shown to reverse the effects of arthritis by enabling bone beneath dense cartilage to soften, and vice , allowing arthritic cartilage regeneration takes through the body’s natural healing process. Unlike alternative ankle ankles or lymph nodes, ankle distraction arthroplasty and joint protection of its natural movement. Successfully implemented in Europe for many years, this procedure is relatively new to the United States and not widely practiced in this country.

  • Stimulate cartilage procedures, such as the formation of new cartilage tissue, is usually done in conjunction with distraction to help accelerate this process.
  •  Splints or braces

Braces and splints are useful in the management of ankle arthritis; The more severe arthritis, more rigid brace. Braces can range from soft lace-up braces for hard plastic boot. Splint or brace will limit the movement of the joint and the stress load off of it.

  1. Prevention

A similar number of measures you take to reduce ankle problems, such as losing weight or wear a cast can also help prevent pain and injury ankle.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of foot and ankle problems:

  • Be safe with sports.

Use the right equipment can reduce the risk of ankle injuries in sports. For example, research has shown that the use of breakaway bases is specially designed to dislodge the baseball player sliding into them – significantly reduce traumatic foot and ankle in Baseball and softball games entertainment. One option is even more secure is to choose low-impact sports, such as cycling or swimming or other water exercises.

foot and ankle

  • Choose appropriate footwear.

Stiletto offer little stability, and sandals and flip-flops do to protect the heel or control pronation (a rolling movement of the foot inward) may become excessive with ankle arthritis leg. A pair of shoes with heels no higher than one-and-a-half-inch offers the best protection.

  • Sitting right.

Avoid sitting with your legs crossed behind his back and pointed down. This put pressure on your toes which can lead to stiffness and soreness ankle

  • Conditions your foot and ankle

Strengthening the muscles of the lower leg through resistance group exercises will help keep your feet and ankles stable and free of injury. To increase flexibility and range of motion, try experiencing calf against a wall, or, in a sitting position, writing out the letters of the alphabet with your feet.