[lvca_accordion][lvca_panel panel_title=”Ankle Arthritis Treatment Overview”]
The best results for the treatment of ankle arthritis occur if the disease is caught and treated early. People with ankle arthritis have many ways that they can manage the problem themselves. Maintaining an appropriate body mass index (less than 28) helps prevent progression of arthritis.
Low-impact physical activity helps arthritis as well. Inactivity is not healthy for cartilage and actually leads to further degradation of the cartilage and progression of arthritis. Conversely, high-impact activities also promote progression of the arthritis; this is particularly true if there is an angular deformity or alignment issue still present.
At Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, we perform extensive evaluations in order to develop detailed, thoughtful treatment plans for each of our patients.[/lvca_panel][lvca_panel panel_title=”Regenerative Injections for Ankle Arthritis”]
Regenerative Injections for Ankle Arthritis
There are a number of injections that are available and are regenerative in nature. These injections are natural and promote healthy tissue and growth. One is platelet rich plasma (PRP). This has been shown to be more effective in some studies than hyaluronic acid. The platelets from a blood-draw are injected directly into the ankle joint. As the platelets break down they release proteins and cytokines that promote cartilage health and healing.
- Average Recovery Time: Minimal recovery time, it’s generally recommended that you reduce activity for up to 2 weeks after treatment.
[/lvca_panel][lvca_panel panel_title=”Bracing for Ankle Arthritis”]
Bracing for Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis hurts most often during periods of activity. This pain occurs because the tissue surrounding the damaged area is stressed to the point that it causes pain. In addition, instability in the ankle causes abnormal motion, creating additional stress and force on the ankle.
Bracing for ankle arthritis works based on the theory that providing additional external support for the ankle helps prevent abnormal motion. Bracing methods can range from casting (which reduces all motion) to a compression sleeve.
- Average Recovery Time: Once an injury or condition is braceable, activity can usually begin. The purpose of a brace is reproduce normal stability of the joint to allow for normal activity.
[/lvca_panel][lvca_panel panel_title=”Ankle Fusion Surgery”]
Ankle Fusion Surgery
Ankle fusion is the traditional treatment method chosen for treating ankle arthritis. During an ankle fusion, the ankle is completely fused, removing ankle mobility in exchange for a reduction in pain. A surgeon removes the damaged cartilage in the ankle from either side of the joint, and fuses the bones in the ankle together. While the procedure is effective at eliminating pain associated with ankle arthritis, it also renders the ankle immobile.
Historically, ankle fusions have been the standard treatment for ankle arthritis and for some time has been believed to be the only effective option for eliminating pain. Today, there is increasing evidence that ankle fusions are detrimental to the foot and well as other major joints like the knee and hip. By removing mobility in the ankle, evidence shows that puts additional stress on other joints in the body, increasing the potential for degeneration in the joints.
- After Surgery: Generally, you will not be allowed to put weight on your foot for about 3-4 weeks. You will gradually approach full weight bearing in a cast or boot, and then a strong brace for 1-3 months. Afterwards, you will be transitioned into a soft brace.
- Recovery & Rehabilitation: Therapy and rehabilitation generally begins 4 weeks after an ankle fusion surgery.
[/lvca_panel][lvca_panel panel_title=”Total Ankle Arthroplasty Surgery”]
Total Ankle Arthroplasty Surgery
Total Ankle Arthroplasty, also known as Total Ankle Replacement, is becoming one of the more popular surgical options for ankle arthritis. The reason behind this popularity and preference is that unlike ankle fusion, a total ankle arthroplasty replaces the ankle joint instead of fusing it, allow the patient to retain mobility in their ankle. In the past, many surgeons have chosen to perform ankle fusions based on the results of total ankle replacements in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, significant improvements have been made in both the procedure and the materials/tools used, resulting in Total Ankle Arthroplasty becoming a much more commonly used and reliable alternative to ankle fusions.
Total Ankle Arthroplasty js a relatively safe procedure, with only a 1.4% complication rate after 30 days and less than a 1% mortality rate after surgery. Results of a Total Ankle Arthroplasty are often better than those of an ankle fusions for ankle arthritis, and are considered dramatically better than an ankle fusion in terms of maintain ankle mobility and for prevention of arthritis and damage in associated joints.
- After Surgery: Generally, you will not be allowed to put weight on your foot for around 4 weeks. You will gradually increase to full weight bearing over the following 2-3 weeks.
- Recovery & Rehabilitation: Therapy generally begins around weeks 3 or 4 after surgery and can last 1-2 months. You will go from a cast/boot to a custom brace around week 6 and to a soft brace around week 8-10.