Arthritis symptoms, diagnosis and cureHealth and Disease information

Ankle Arthritis Treatment – Pain-free Walking Without Surgery by Seattle Podiatrist Larry Huppin

Hi. Today I want to talk to you about ankle arthritis, which is arthritis in this joint right here, between your leg bone and your ankle bone. This cartilage here can get worn away and there’s a number of reasons it can occur. This often occurs after an injury but it can occur even decades after the injury occurs. For example, if you’re somebody who sprained their ankle multiple times, that, over time, can lead to ankle arthritis. But when it does occur, it can become severely painful. What I really want to talk about today is what you can do to prevent the need for surgery and be able to do what you want to do without pain.

So, when this gets worn away, any sort of motion in this area can start to cause pain. Most particularly, if the foot is angled one way or another and these two bones are not lined up as they should be. That can really lead to pain. So, there’s several different ways that we can approach treating this problem. One is you can sometimes use a foot orthotic. Now, there are really two types of arthritis that are called ankle arthritis. One is the ankle joint we just talked about. The second one is this joint down here called the subtalar joint, and that’s often called the lower ankle joint.

Now, if your arthritis is down in this area, because that is the joint that allows your foot to go in and out, using a foot orthotic that conforms really close to the arch of the foot and is very deep around the heel, can limit motion of that heel, can actually do a lot to decrease pain in that region. So, for lower ankle joint arthritis or subtalar joint arthritis, foot orthoses, along with very stable shoes, can be quite beneficial. Now, some things to look at on shoes are that the shoe itself should be stable enough that it stops the foot from rolling inward. That would limit motion in the subtalar and the ankle joint. Another thing that’s beneficial is to use a shoe that has what’s called a rocker sole. This shoe here is rigid and when your walk through, it rocks you through the step. What that does for your ankle joint and your subtalar joint is it limits motion of those joints. Without the rocker, you’re doing a lot of motion going through.

With the rocker, that’s very limiting. By limiting that motion in an arthritic joint, you can decrease pain quite substantially. There’s a lot more information on this on our website. Just go and look for ankle arthritis and you’ll find information on both over-the-counter and custom orthotics that can be used, in addition to different types of shoes that come with rocker soles that can be beneficial. Now, for more severe ankle arthritis, in particular, and I’m talking about this upper ankle joint, foot orthotics and shoes alone are usually not enough or often aren’t enough, because they don’t cross the ankle joint and they don’t limit motion. So in that case, you may want to use what’s called an ankle-foot orthotic. And these are both different types. This is the best one usually, for people with severe ankle arthritis. It’s called a gauntlet AFO or ankle-foot orthosis. And what it does is it incorporates a foot orthotic but it also goes up above the level of the ankle joint to stop motion in both the ankle and the subtalar joint.

So, it’s extremely effective at limiting motion, and by doing so, it can limit pain. So, these are all different ways that you can avoid surgery if you do have pain that’s related to ankle joint arthritis of any sort. For more information, go to the website, do a search for ankle arthritis. All of this information is there, with specific things that you can actually try at home initially and then what you may want to do if that isn’t enough. If you really liked this information, please subscribe to us and we’ll let you know when there are new videos coming out..

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