What is ankle arthritis?

Ankle arthritis is a process of wear and tear involving the ankle joint. It is most commonly a consequence of a previous ankle injury or fracture. Patients with rheumatoid disease can also suffer arthritis in the ankle joint.

Patients usually complains of pain around the joint which becomes worse with walking, along with stiffness, recurrent swelling and a sense of giving way.

The diagnosis is made by clinical examination and x-rays.


Treatment of Ankle Arthritis

Treatment should always start by conservative measures such as footwear changes, cushioned inserts, braces, anti-inflammatory medications and walking aids. You should also have reduced ‘impact’ activities and, if appropriate, tried to loose weight.

If conservative treatment does not keep the symptoms under reasonable control surgery is usually the next step.

The type of surgery is dependant on your age, activity, medical status, as well as the findings in your clinical examination and the degree of arthritis confirmed by your investigations.


Milder cases of arthritis where symptoms are due to the extra bone formation that accompanies the arthritis process are generally managed by Ankle Arthroscopy.

More advanced cases are offered either Ankle joint fusion or Ankle joint replacement.

Moderate to advanced cases in young adults are very challenging cases as they are not suitable for fusion or replacement. More recent advances in the treatment of these cases include Ankle joint distraction.