Foot & Ankle

Arthritis

What is ankle osteoarthritis?

Ankle osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that cushions the ankle joint wears away over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Ankle osteoarthritis can develop due to a variety of factors, including age, genetics, and injury or trauma to the ankle joint. The condition is more common in older adults and individuals who have had previous ankle injuries or surgeries.

Symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis can include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the ankle joint
  • Stiffness or difficulty moving the ankle joint
  • Swelling or inflammation in the ankle joint
  • A grinding or clicking sensation in the joint
  • Reduced mobility or difficulty walking
  • Development of bone spurs around the joint

Treatment for ankle osteoarthritis typically involves a combination of non-surgical and surgical options, depending on the severity of the condition and the presence of symptoms. Non-surgical treatment options may include physical therapy, pain management, and the use of assistive devices such as braces or orthotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the ankle joint. Surgical options may include ankle fusion, which involves fusing the bones of the ankle joint together to eliminate movement and reduce pain, or ankle replacement, which involves replacing the damaged joint with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic components.

What is an Arthroscopic Ankle Fusion?

An arthroscopic ankle fusion is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves fusing the bones of the ankle joint together to eliminate movement and reduce pain. The procedure is typically performed using an arthroscope, a small camera that allows the surgeon to visualize the inside of the ankle joint and guide small surgical instruments.

During an arthroscopic ankle fusion, the surgeon makes several small incisions around the ankle joint and inserts the arthroscope and surgical instruments. The surgeon then removes any remaining cartilage from the ankle joint and prepares the bone surfaces for fusion. The bones of the ankle joint are then held together with screws, plates, or other hardware while they heal and fuse together.

Arthroscopic ankle fusion is a less invasive alternative to traditional open ankle fusion surgery, which involves making a larger incision over the ankle joint. The advantages of arthroscopic ankle fusion include less pain, less scarring, and faster recovery times. However, not all cases of ankle arthritis are suitable for arthroscopic ankle fusion, and the surgeon will need to evaluate the individual case to determine the best treatment option.

After arthroscopic ankle fusion surgery, patients will need to wear a cast or brace for several weeks to allow the ankle to heal. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help regain strength and mobility in the ankle joint. The specific recovery time and treatment plan will depend on the individual case and the surgeon’s recommendations.

What is midfoot arthritis?

Midfoot arthritis is a condition in which the joints in the middle of the foot become inflamed and damaged, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. The midfoot consists of several small bones that are connected by ligaments and surrounded by joint cartilage. Midfoot arthritis can develop due to a variety of factors, including age, genetics, and injury or trauma to the foot.

Symptoms of midfoot arthritis can include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the middle of the foot
  • Stiffness or difficulty moving the foot
  • Swelling or inflammation in the midfoot
  • A grinding or clicking sensation in the joint
  • Reduced mobility or difficulty walking
  • Development of bone spurs around the joint

Treatment for midfoot arthritis typically involves a combination of non-surgical and surgical options, depending on the severity of the condition and the presence of symptoms. Non-surgical treatment options may include physical therapy, pain management, and the use of assistive devices such as braces or orthotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged joint. Surgical options may include fusion of the affected joint, which involves fusing the bones together to eliminate movement and reduce pain.