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Ankle arthritis

Wear-and-tear of the ankle joint causing pain, stiffness and lack of mobility


In osteoarthritis the shock absorbing cartilage of the joint is worn, causing pain, stiffness and a lack of mobility. In the ankle most cases follow trauma such as ankle fractures or severe sprains. It can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, where the body attacks itself, or other inflammation conditions such as gout or pseudogout.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of ankle arthritis icon plus

    If you have ankle arthritis, you'll probably experience pain, stiffness, and swelling around the ankle.

    The level of pain can vary from person to person and you might notice it more at different times. Early on, you'll tend to notice it only after prolonged or high impact activities. If the condition progresses, you might notice it more often, or after lower level exercise.

    In severe cases it could keep you awake at night and interfere with your sleep. Ankle arthritis has been shown to affect quality of life as much as end stage heart failure.
  • Screening and diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will take a full history of your problem, examine you fully, and may also order appropriate investigations such as standing Xrays, MRI scans or CT scans. You may also have some blood tests to look for causes of inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Your consultant will always recommend non surgical options first, such as activity modification, pain killers, weight loss, ankle supports or braces, and physiotherapy. In some cases they may recommend injections into the joint.

    If non operative treatments have not worked, then you may discuss surgery. There are three main surgical options for ankle arthritis:

Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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