Osteoarthritis – Ankle
What is it?
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. It causes the smooth articular cartilage to become roughened and thinner. The underlying bone responds by thickening and growing outwards. The joint capsule also becomes thicker and inflamed. Many cases of ankle osteoarthritis are linked to a previous ankle injury which can damage the cartilage directly or alter the mechanics of the ankle joint (how the joint works).
Osteoarthritis affects 8.5 million people in the UK. It develops over time, causing joints to become stiff, painful and sometimes swollen. Some people develop a bony protrusion know as an osteophyte (bone spur) which can lead to pinching of the joint lining, known as impingement.
Though the degenerative changes cannot be reversed, there are Orthoses which can help reduce the severity of the symptoms. These include:
• Fixed ankle walker to immobilise and rest the joint.