Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
Arthritis is a rather common condition affecting the joints and causing inflammation of the latter. It affects the ankle fairly regularly, causing various ailments such as ankle pain, swelling, difficulty walking, etc. There are various types of ankle arthritis such as monoarthritis of the ankle, polyarthritis of the ankle, rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle and inflammatory arthritis. Because of the consequences of ankle arthritis, it is best to treat it as soon as possible after its onset to prevent it from getting worse, but also to relieve the pain it causes. It is therefore essential to consult a specialized doctor in order to diagnose arthritis, but also to determine its origin and to set up an adapted treatment.
Causes and diagnosis of arthritis of the ankles
Arthritis is a disease affecting the joints, the joint is damaged causing a tearing of the cartilage resulting in pieces of cartilage floating in the joint and finally leading to the creation of scar tissue harmful to the proper functioning of the joint and causing inflammation of the ankle and pain in the heel. The origins of arthritis in the ankles are diverse, as arthritis can occur due to wear and tear of the joint as a result of excessive pressure on the joint due to overweight or obesity, for example, or as a result of a previous injury to the ankle joint. In addition, a large number of factors must also be taken into account when arthritis occurs, such as the age of the person, but also genetic factors that can be detected through family history, in particular, or inflammation of the joint or a disease of the immune system.
Arthritis is one of the most common forms of osteoarthritis and will usually manifest itself as swelling in the joint, but can also make walking difficult, as it is a very painful ailment, and the pain can come on suddenly. While there is no cure for arthritis, there is a relatively effective treatment for the symptoms of arthritis that can provide real relief of discomfort if it is properly diagnosed. A professional will be able to establish the diagnosis through a clinical examination as well as swabs and x-rays, but more importantly, he or she will be able to offer you various treatment options depending on the degree of severity of the arthritis and, above all, its origins. Indeed, rheumatoid arthritis for example is an autoimmune disease, so only the symptoms can be treated, whereas the resulting arthritis of the gout can be greatly improved by appropriate treatment of the gout to reduce the level of uric acid that causes the attacks of gout and the resulting inflammation.
Consequences and complications of arthritis of the ankles
Arthritis of the ankles has many particularly unpleasant consequences, which is why it is essential to be concerned about it as soon as it appears in order to limit its impact. Among the consequences of ankle arthritis are, of course, inflammation and pain in the joint, these consequences are the most frequent and the ones that appear the earliest. In arthritis, the cartilage will crack and also lead to stiffness in the joint and pain in the heel.
Arthritis of the ankle can also be accompanied by hallux valgus, which is very uncomfortable and can be especially uncomfortable when putting on shoes. The appearance of hallux valgus is only one of the possible complications of arthritis. Among the most disabling complications is deformed joints, which can also lead to the appearance of bone excrescences. The ankle can thus be permanently damaged without appropriate treatment, so it is essential to consult a specialized healthcare professional as soon as possible to limit the risks associated with this condition.
How to treat arthritis of the ankles and gout
Gout is a disease that can lead to arthritis in the ankles, but not only. It is due to hyperuricemia, i.e. an excessively high level of uric acid, which causes an accumulation of crystals that can become lodged in the joints and create inflammation and pain. When gout occurs, it can lead in some cases to an osteoarthritis of the ankle, but other joints can also be affected.
There are various causes for the development of gout, such as insufficient elimination of uric acid by the kidneys, excessive production of uric acid or overconsumption of alcohol or purine-rich foods. To treat gout, doctors will usually prescribe a change in diet and medication to reduce the inflammation caused by the gout attack and advise immobilizing the affected joints with splints during the attack or even applying ice to them to reduce pain and swelling.
Regarding the treatment of arthritis itself, a Podiatrist will be able to propose the appropriate treatment plan, so do not hesitate to contact us if you suspect arthritis of the ankle to make an appointment at our Montreal clinic. Depending on the type of arthritis, the extent of the lesions and their severity, a health professional such as the Podiatrician will be able to propose the most appropriate solutions. These solutions can aim to distribute pressure under the foot to relieve the joint and limit foot pain. Of course, among these solutions, we cannot overlook the use of orthotics, which will also allow for better stabilization of the ankle. These can be molded foot orthotics, orthopedic shoes or custom-made molded shoes. These orthotics can also be effective supports for the plantar arch, providing real relief from the symptoms of ankle arthritis. It may also be advisable to prefer laced shoes to other types of shoes that provide better support. As a last resort, surgical treatment may also be considered.