Arthritis of the ankle joint : symptoms, causes, treatment

How to diagnose and cure arthritis of the ankle?

Arthritis of the ankle joint is a disease caused by disturbance of the proportions of the load on the joint and the stability of its components. At the first signs of this disease should immediately consult a doctor to get the right diagnosis and prescription of effective treatment.

The inflammatory process develops quite rapidly, is gradually restricted to motor activity, impaired way of life, there is a temporary disability, and in some cases, even disability.

The main causes of arthritis of the ankle

The main causes of arthritis of the ankle joint are:

  1. A big load of body weight and constant movement;
  2. Injury (posttraumatic arthritis);
  3. Infection within the joint cavity along with the blood, and in the case of an open injury (in same cases we are talking about reactive arthritis);
  4. The «loss» of small crystals of uric acid in the area of the synovial membrane, in consequence of gout, or metabolic disorders;
  5. Autoimmune disease of the connective tissue (gout, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis).


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Arthritis has similar symptoms to all forms and stages of the disease, so without the help of a specialist to determine the type of the disease almost impossible. Arthritis of the ankle joint can be:

  • Acute – if you have gout and infection;
  • Chronic – if you have an autoimmune disease and osteoarthritis.

Patients often complain of severe pain in the affected joint, and there are cases of unilateral lesions (in the presence of infection) and bilateral (with connective tissue) and a migratory (when psevdopodagra and gouty arthritis).

A long-existing process of arthritis can lead to fusion of joint (ankylosis) and limitation of its motility. Occurs the disease is progressive, with the onset of periodic periods of deterioration and improvement, but in any case, over time, joint destruction.

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In such cases, it is important to recognize the symptoms of developing the disease and begin early treatment.

There are several stages of current arthritis of the ankle joint:

  1. The first step: Become visible collagen fibers due to aging changes or lesions in cartilage tissue;
  2. Second stage: the Destruction of fibers of cartilage and tears of the collagen fibers. The cartilage cells proliferate, forming a seal;
  3. Third stage: the Emergence of bony plates, due to the destruction of cartilage. With increasing pressure, the formation of small cavities with the bone tissue (a capsule containing a foreign substance). Education data in bone and cartilage lead to deposits on the die;
  4. Fourth stage: Complete destruction of bone and cartilage.

Symptoms and signs: how to recognize in time the approach of the disease?

The symptoms of inflammation of the ankle joints are directly dependent on primary pathological activities. But due to the presence of inflammatory lesions, the disease has a number of common characteristics common to all its forms:

  • Sharp pain in ankle joints;
  • The presence of edema that is visible when pressed in the region of the ankle joint;
  • The increased skin temperature and redness at the site of the affected joint;
  • Walking difficulty due to limitations of joint mobility;
  • The presence of General symptoms of inflammation: fever, malaise, and weakness.

The presence of arthritis of the ankle joint in any case will cause the patient to see a doctor, because over time a sharp pain begins to accompany difficulty in movement.

At the beginning of the disease is possible to observe acute or gradual course of the disease. Characteristic clinical manifestations may be absent, but to suspect the presence of disease is still possible in two ways:

  1. The presence of pain with full range of extension and flexion of the ankle joint;
  2. A feeling of tightness when dressing the usual shoes that have arisen due to the swelling of the foot.
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Modern diagnosis of the disease

A correct diagnosis of the disease is of paramount importance because the clinical manifestations of arthritis of the ankle are similar with the same pathologies, for example osteoarthritis and arthropathy. Therefore, if you notice the first symptoms should be to consult a doctor to prevent the transfer of disease into the chronic or advanced stage.

Currently, there are many methods of diagnosis of diseases used in art rologichesky practice.

  1. Urinalysis and blood allows the doctor to determine the presence of inflammation in the body;
  2. A detailed immunological analysis of blood helps to determine the presence of antibodies to the pathogen, and allows you to choose the right tactics to drug therapy;
  3. Biochemistry analysis of blood determines the blood concentration of chemicals that are formed in biological fluids. The analysis identifies markers of inflammatory foci and to distinguish the disease from others;
  4. X – ray examination of the joints reveals the presence of fluid or pus between the articulated bones;
  5. Resonance magnetic imaging (MRI) is an informative method by which to determine even the slightest deviation in the change of ligaments, the articular cartilage is the articular structures;
  6. CT – informative and the most popular method for carrying out layer-by-layer x-ray pictures;
  7. Ultrasound allows to reveal changes in the articular cavity and soft tissues of the ankle joint;
  8. Arthroscopy – a surgical operation that allows to combine diagnosis and treatment. Miniature optical instruments are inserted into the joint cavity and allow you to inspect the joints from the inside, to remove inflammatory fluid and stop the bleeding.
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The strategy of treatment of arthritis of the ankle

Make the decision how to treat arthritis of the ankle joint, it is necessary in accordance with specialist assignments, recipes of traditional healers in this case will not bring any positive results.

The first doctor’s recommendations is to minimize the load on the affected joints, which can take a cane when walking, or wrap the unhealthy areas of the body with an elastic bandage.

Drug therapy in this case does not lead to a complete cure and only provide anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect. The effect of the drugs reduce swelling and inflammation of the joints.

Effective methods for treatment of the ankle joint is orthotics, which is a soft tab, insoles, and Shoe, intended to correct an abnormal condition. These funds facilitate the discharge of patients of joints and relaxes muscles. You can also perform a number of specially developed complex of exercises that reduce pain and are prescribed individually for each patient, depending on stage and type of disease.

Thus, the treatment of disease of the ankle joint may appoint only a qualified specialist – a rheumatologist or internist, who after the diagnosis prescribes a comprehensive treatment.

Read more about the problem on video:

Articular exercises for ankle