Your ankle endures a lot of daily strain, especially if you’re often on your feet. The constant impact of walking and standing can make your ankle vulnerable to internal injury and pain.
Many people assume that ankle pain naturally means arthritis, and this is indeed usually the case. Let’s talk about three of the most common types of ankle arthritis, and where you can go in Cincinnati to receive an accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment of your ankle pain.
Common Types of Ankle Arthritis
The following are the most common types of arthritis that can affect the ankles:
Also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is also often called just “arthritis” because it is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It often affects the hands, hips, and knees, but it can affect any joint – including your feet and ankles.
In osteoarthritis, the joint cartilage – which is connective tissue that acts as a protective barrier and shock absorber between the bones – breaks down over time. If it is left untreated by a doctor, the cartilage can eventually wear away completely, causing painful bone-on-bone rubbing when you move the joint. Bone is a type of tissue, and arthritis involves inflammation of this tissue and can lead to the development of bone spurs inside the ankle joint.
If you experience persistent ankle pain that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medication or to cold and heat therapy, it is in your best interest to see an experienced podiatrist.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s joints and organs. This form of arthritis affects the specific lining of the joints called the synovium, and an attack can cause ankle pain and joint stiffness.
The early stages of RA tend to affect the smaller joints, like the toes and fingers. Over time, the inflammation and pain can spread to the ankles and knees, and it can lead to bone erosion, joint deformity, and physical disability. Plus, RA can also affect vital organs like the skin, lungs, kidneys, and heart, which is why it is imperative for a person with RA to be partnered with an experienced doctor who can help tamp down the inflammation.
Gout is a complex form of arthritis that develops when urate crystals collect in a joint. When there is too much uric acid in the blood, these sharp crystals can develop in joint and surrounding tissue, causing intense pain.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which develops gradually, gout is marked by sudden flare-ups. The affected joint may feel hot to the touch, swollen, and tender. While gout most often occurs in the big toe, it may also affect the ankle and knee.
What Else Causes Ankle Pain?
In addition to arthritis, the following issues can also cause ankle pain:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Physical injuries
As such, if you experience ankle pain and swelling with no other discernible symptoms, it’s best to consult your podiatrist.
Treatment for Ankle Pain in Cincinnati, Ohio
If you have persistent or intermittent ankle pain, or if you’ve suffered an injury to your foot and ankle area, visit Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. Our board-certified medical specialists can diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions, including arthritis.
We have many convenient podiatry locations across Southwest Ohio. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our outstanding foot doctors, call our location near you, or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you love!