Arthritis of the upper ankle.
Occurrence and incidence of arthritis in the upper ankle.
Similar to arthritis in the knee and hip, arthritis in the upper ankle results in significantly reduced leg function. In most cases, ankle osteoarthritis results from a fractured ankle. Other possible causes include rheumatoid diseases and other diseases affecting the cartilage in the joint. Due to the constantly ageing population, the number of cases of ankle arthritis continues to increase. Because it severely impacts quality of life, the treatment of this disease has been the focus of intensive research over the past decade.
What is ankle arthritis?
Ankle arthritis is a degenerative joint disease involving damage to the cartilage, the development of bone spurs (osteophytes) capable of significantly restricting joint mobility, pain and swelling when the joint is under stress and changes to the bone supporting the cartilage.
Forms of arthritis.
The cause of the arthritis can be identified in over 90 % of cases. These cases are termed secondary arthritis. They are distinct from primary arthritis, for which no primary cause can be found.
Symptoms & causes of arthritis of the upper ankle.
Symptoms. Signs of arthritis of the upper ankle.
Typical symptoms of arthritis in the upper ankle.
Reduced mobility in the upper ankle, swelling and pain depending on the stress on the ankle are the typical symptoms of arthritis in the upper ankle. If the symptoms of the disease only occur during the early stages when the joint is severely stressed, e.g. when jogging, patients in the advanced stage commonly report marked initial pain, pain even when walking normally and even pain while at rest in some cases.
Causes. How arthritis of the upper ankle develops
What are the causes of arthritis of the upper ankle?
In primary arthritis, which is observed in approximately 7 % of cases, no clear cause can be identified. However, it is now presumed that these patients have a cartilage disorder which is mostly genetic in nature. There have now been multiple facets of abnormal cartilage structure identified. In most cases, the abnormality results from disruption of the collagen mesh in the cartilage, making the joint cartilage softer and thus easier to injure. Typically, patients will in these cases also suffer from athritic disorders in various other joints.
Approximately 70 % of patients develop arthritis following a joint injury. The more severe the ankle fracture and the more the load-bearing elements of the joint are involved, the greater the risk of developing arthritis over a period of years.
Rheumatoid diseases can cause arthritis of the ankle.
With an incidence of approximately 12 %, rheumatoid diseases are the second most common cause. Chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane will over time result in severe damage to the cartilage in the joint and subsequently to damage throughout the joint.
Diagnostics & Therapy
Orthopedic shoes, cartilage from the laboratory or artificial ankle: Today there are many treatment alternatives to the rigid joint.
Our specialised clinics and hospitals for the treatment of arthritis of the ankle joint at a glance. We're glad to help you!