Arthritis Ankle Symptoms

Arthritis of the ankle joint is an acute or chronic inflammatory process that affects the anatomical structures that form the joint of the bones of the lower leg with the foot. With arthritis of the ankle joint there is pain, hyperemia, hyperthermia and edema in the joint area, limitation of foot mobility. The diagnosis of ankle arthritis is based on clinical findings, radiography, ultrasound, MRI of the joint, laboratory tests, diagnostic puncture and arthroscopy. With arthritis of the ankle joint, rest, anti-inflammatory, painkillers, antibacterial drugs, physiotherapy are indicated; according to indications, arthroscopic synovectomy, joint prosthetics are performed.


Arthritis of the ankle joint is an inflammatory and destructive lesion of the elements of the ankle joint of various origins. Arthritis of the ankle joint can develop at any age; males are more susceptible to the disease. This articular pathology is widespread throughout the world, largely determines the quality of life of patients and causes serious concern for specialists in the field of rheumatology and traumatology. The ankle joint is formed by the tibia, fibula, calcaneus and talus; due to its complex structure, it has a very high mobility. Blocky in shape, the ankle joint provides the foot with functions of rotation, flexion (movement towards its plantar surface), extension (movement toward its back surface) with a mobility of 90 °. When bending the foot, some reduction and abduction is possible. The ankle joint is subjected to tremendous stress, maintaining the weight of its own body.

Causes of Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis of the ankle joint can occur against the background of degenerative joint diseases (osteoarthritis), metabolic disorders (gout), systemic pathology (peripheral form of ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis), after infection. Violation of immune reactivity in systemic diseases leads to the fact that the own joint tissues are perceived by the immune system as foreign and are exposed to aggressive effects of antibodies. In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the synovial membrane of the ankle joint develops, accompanied by its proliferation, damage to cartilage and bone tissue, and joint surfaces. Reactive arthritis of the ankle joint that occurs after bacterial and viral infections is associated with an increased immune response to pathogen antigens. When they are close to tissue antigens of the joints, reactive aseptic inflammation develops.

In children, arthritis of the ankle joint often provokes intestinal and respiratory infections (dysentery, salmonellosis, yersiniosis, flu, mycoplasma and chlamydial infections), as well as allergic reactions to certain irritants (food, plant pollen, animal hair). Predispose to the development of arthritis malnutrition, bad habits, overweight, stressful situations, adverse environmental conditions (increased humidity, hypothermia, unsanitary conditions).

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with damage to the skin and develops in individuals with a hereditary predisposition. Persistent violation of the general metabolism with gout leads to an excess and deposition of uric acid crystals in the ankle cavity with the development of an inflammatory response in it.

Post-traumatic arthritis of the ankle joint is caused by acute trauma to the joint tissues (joint capsule, cartilage, ligamentous apparatus or muscles and tendons) due to bruises, dislocations, fractures, sprains and ruptures. Prolonged physical activity on the ankle joint and flat feet cause chronic microtraumatization of the joint and ligamentous apparatus of the foot, also contributing to the appearance of arthritis. Purulent arthritis is rare, with a penetrating wound of the ankle joint with a pyogenic infection entering its cavity or with its spread from the inflammatory focus by the lymphogenous and hematogenous route.

Classification of ankle arthritis

Arthritis of the ankle joint can occur in acute and chronic form. Depending on the cause, distinguish between primary (with direct damage to the joint) and secondary arthritis (developed against the background of extra-articular pathology).

By the nature of the inflammatory process, arthritis of the ankle joint can be non-specific (purulent), specific (tuberculosis, gonorrhea, etc.) and aseptic (reactive, rheumatoid, etc.). The most typical forms of ankle damage are gouty, reactive, post-traumatic, psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis of the ankle joint can develop in isolation (monoarthritis), but more often occurs simultaneously with inflammation in other joints (oligoarthritis, polyarthritis). Damage to the ankle joint in arthritis can be unilateral (trauma, infection), bilateral (systemic pathology), and migratory (gout).

Symptoms of Arthritis Ankle Joint

Acute arthritis of the ankle joint develops suddenly, more often at night. The sharply arisen soreness is accompanied by the rapid onset of hyperemia and swelling, a local increase in temperature in the area of ​​the soft tissues of the joint, a significant limitation of foot mobility, and difficulty in moving. Suppurative arthritis of the ankle joint is characterized by general intoxication; chills, fever, weakness, headache.

The chronic form of the disease develops gradually. Hyperemia and swelling of the ankle joint are mild; morning stiffness and pain during movement, maximum flexion and extension of the joint, when dressing and removing shoes are noted.

There are several stages of the development of arthritis. At stage I, pain in the ankle appears only when moving and stops at rest; stiffness and decreased foot mobility are negligible. The second stage of arthritis of the ankle joint is manifested by constant severe pain that does not go away at rest, an intensification of the pain reaction “in the weather”, a noticeable decrease in foot mobility. At the III stage of arthritis due to a sharp loss of mobility of the ankle joint, the patient can only move with a stick or crutches. The foot is strongly deformed, takes an unnatural position, ankylosis develops, leading to disability of the patient.

The clinical picture of ankle arthritis may vary depending on the cause of the inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint is characterized by a symmetric lesion with constant pain, and when involved in the inflammatory process of the ligamentous apparatus is accompanied by instability of the ankle with frequent subluxations and dislocations. The development of reactive arthritis of the ankle joint is always preceded by a past genitourinary, intestinal or respiratory viral infection. With Reiter’s syndrome, arthritis of the ankle joint is accompanied by eye damage (conjunctivitis), an infection of the urinary tract (urethritis, prostatitis).

Diagnosis of ankle arthritis

The diagnosis of ankle arthritis is based on a survey of the patient; clinical picture, results of radiography, ultrasound, CT and MRI of the ankle joints, laboratory tests. Radiography for arthritis of the ankle joint allows you to detect signs of osteoporosis, the presence of fluid or pus in the joint cavity; erosion, cysts, destructive changes in the bone substance, flattening of the articular surfaces, reduction of the joint space, ankylosis. MRI of the ankle joint is more informative, because it reveals even minor deviations from the norm of not only bone tissue, but also articular cartilage, ligaments and soft tissues.

From laboratory examination methods, a general and biochemical analysis of blood and urine, ELISA, RNGA, a study of rheumatoid factor, blood culture for sterility is performed. If necessary, a diagnostic puncture is performed with the study of synovial fluid or arthroscopy with a biopsy of the tissues of the joint.

Treatment of ankle arthritis

Treatment of arthritis of the ankle joint is carried out by a rheumatologist or an orthopedic traumatologist and includes complex drug and non-drug therapy. With arthritis of the ankle joint, a regimen with a minimum load on the foot is shown: complete rest or immobilization with an elastic bandage, while walking – using a cane; adherence to a diet with the exception of fatty, salty, spicy, smoked, canned food.

In the framework of pharmacotherapy, NSAIDs, analgesics, glucocorticosteroids (in the form of intra-articular injections, periarticular blocks, systemic therapy), broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs (for infectious genesis), vitamins are used. Wearing orthopedic inserts in shoes (“bioprosthetics”) or specially made shoes is recommended. In case of arthritis of the ankle joint without exacerbation, physiotherapy is prescribed (UFO, medicinal electrophoresis, paraffin treatment, mud therapy), massage, therapeutic exercises and spa treatment.

With purulent arthritis, arthroscopy is performed with drainage of the ankle cavity. With persistent relapsing course of rheumatoid arthritis, arthroscopic synovectomy is indicated. In severe deforming forms of the disease, arthroscopic arthrodesis of the ankle joint or endoprosthetics is required.

Prediction and prevention of ankle arthritis

Arthritis of the ankle is prone to a long recurrent course. The prognosis is determined by the cause of arthritis: with a reactive form, it is more favorable; with rheumatoid and psoriatic lesions, leading to severe deformation and loss of motor activity of the ankle joint – more serious. Prevention of inflammatory and destructive lesions of the joint includes the correction of lifestyle, diet, body weight; rejection of bad habits, feasible physical activity, timely treatment of infectious diseases and injuries.

Rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment features

Translated from Greek literally means “the course is like a state of joint inflammation.” Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex autoimmune disease of the connective articular tissues, most often affecting small joints: the ankle joint and hands. Erosive-destructive lesion develops quite quickly and is able to completely immobilize the joint within a year. Dry statistics show that rheumatoid arthritis affects every 40th inhabitant of the planet after 3 years. Women suffer from this disease 5-20 times more often than men. And the percentage of people with rheumatoid arthritis from the total number of people with disabilities is almost %.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Ankle

In the work of the musculoskeletal system, the ankle has an important function: throughout the day, the ankle joint is in continuous motion and under pressure from the entire body mass. Constant high loads on the joint tissues of the ankle contribute to microtrauma of the cartilage and ligaments, as a result – the rapid development of inflammation and the occurrence of arthritis, arthrosis and other unpleasant diseases.

The slightest changes in the ankle joint, causing pain and discomfort, limit the mobility of the human foot, changing the usual way of life. Rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint often occurs and develops simultaneously with osteoporosis, rheumatism and systemic diseases of the connective tissues. If it is detected, treatment should be started as quickly as possible, since this disease reduces life expectancy by 3 to 12 years, in 70% of cases it leads the patient to disability and death within 5 years from infectious lesions or renal failure.

Classification of Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases of the 10th Revision), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has 13 varieties, each of which differs in the age category of patients, the causes of occurrence, the rate of development, the ability to affect organs of other body systems and other factors. Regardless of the classification, rheumatoid arthritis is a painful pathological process that destroys articular tissues and requires careful treatment.

Forms of the course of RA

The acute form of this disease is unusual and occurs extremely rarely, manifested by a tumor and redness of the skin in the lower leg, sharp pains during movement and an increase in body temperature.

Rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint often proceeds in a chronic form and is characterized by stiffness of movements and weak aching pain, sometimes accompanied by mild swelling and redness.

Causes of the disease

Absolute confidence in the causes of the development of rheumatoid arthritis still does not exist. It is generally accepted that it occurs in the body in the presence of one of the factors:

  • Hereditary predisposition to autoimmune reactions.
  • The presence of various viral infections entering the joint cavity with the flow of lymph and blood. For example, measles, hepatitis B, mumps, herpes, respiratory infections and others.

Hypothermia, stress, intoxication, endocrinopathy and other changes in the body can trigger the development of rheumatoid arthritis. The risk of getting this disease is reduced when eating fish and seafood, as well as in women who breast-feed from 12-15 to 20-24 months. Rheumatoid arthritis suffers several times more among smokers.

Contributes to the rapid development of inflammation in the ankle overweight, frequent joint injuries during sports, uncomfortable tight shoes and high heels.


Signs of rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint usually manifest symmetrically in both feet.

  • Aching pains bother in the second half of the night and gradually increase with increasing physical exertion. Soreness when moving in the muscles, swelling and redness in the ankle region can also be observed.
  • Stiffness of movements after prolonged rest, for example, after morning awakening, passing after 30-60 minutes of mobility. The stage of the disease is determined by the length of time of stiffness: the longer the mobility of the joint is limited, the more affected are the tissues of the ankle joint. For deep damage to articular tissues, the development of muscular dystrophy is characteristic.
  • General weakness, lethargy, fatigue, low temperature. Sometimes a depressive state with loss of appetite and significant weight loss can be observed.
  • Anemia, manifested by cold and sweaty feet. There may be insufficient production of saliva and tears due to impaired gland function.

Sometimes soreness with rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle provokes a subluxation of the foot.

Development of the disease

Inflammation of the ankle takes place in its development of 3 stages:

  1. In the first stage of the disease, for several months, and sometimes 2-3 years, edema of synovial bags occurs. At the same time, the joint area swells and becomes hot, redness of the skin is possible, soreness appears.
  2. The second stage can occur acutely, since during this period, compaction of the synovial membrane is formed, which reduces the mobility of the ankle.
  3. In the third stage, all the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint are manifested. The reason for this is the damage to the cartilage and bone tissue, the deformation of the inflamed joints, which entails an increase in pain and loss of mobility of the ankle joint.


The difficulty in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis is that with a long course of the disease, its symptoms can change, periodically manifesting and disappearing. In addition, many signs of RA are similar to symptoms of arthrosis and rheumatism. Therefore, to establish an accurate diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint, it is recommended to conduct an examination in an exacerbated state, based on a detailed description of the course of the disease by the patient.

X-ray of the joint in the diagnosis of RA in the early stages is ineffective, but helps to clarify the area of ​​damage to the joint. The main method for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis is to conduct laboratory tests of synovial fluid and blood to identify inflammatory processes. In this case, ESR indicators, platelet count, rheumatoid factor and other properties are considered.

More recently, in the diagnosis of RA, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has begun to be used, in which lesions of the soft articular tissues are more clearly visible: cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscle fibers.

Treatment of ankle inflammation

Medical, physiotherapeutic and alternative methods of treating rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint the symptoms of this disease significantly reduce, but do not completely relieve the disease.

In the treatment of RA, the joint must be immobilized by applying a tight fixative bandage or using a special fixative. When moving, it is advisable to use a cane to reduce the load on the inflamed ankle, and orthopedic shoes. Proper medical treatment can only be selected by an experienced specialist. Do not self-medicate and take medicine on the advice of a neighbor or relative.

Drug treatment involves the selection of painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In the presence of infection, antibacterial drugs are prescribed. With severe inflammation, corticosteroid drugs are injected into the joint cavity, glucocorticosteroids are prescribed in combination with basic antirheumatic drugs.

In most patients, a pronounced positive effect gives a course of plasmapheresis.

Conservative treatment of ankle arthritis eliminates the symptoms of the disease in the first 2-3 weeks of taking the medicine. An effective complex should be selected within 5-6 months. In the absence of improvements in taking medications for 2-3 months, it is necessary to change the combination and select more effective drugs.

Physiotherapeutic procedures, for example, Dimexidum applications, phonophoresis of Hydrocortisone or NSAID electrophoresis, have an auxiliary effect. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are shown spa treatment and a diet with a high content of calcium.

With persistent rheumatoid arthritis, surgical treatment methods are used: synovectomy (excision of the affected synovial membrane) or reconstructive surgery.

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Physiotherapy exercises in RA

Special exercises aimed at strengthening ligaments and muscle fibers help maintain muscle mass and maximum joint mobility. Physical therapy also helps to slow down pathological reactions and increase the range of motion of the joint.

In RA of the ankle, the complex of exercises is carried out mainly sitting on a chair and consists of exercises for the foot: rolling a stick or ball, bending and unbending of the toes, rolling from heel to toe, lifting various objects from the floor with the toes, and so on. The load on the joint increases gradually under the supervision of a specialist.

Also, in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint, a massage is prescribed. Recommended swimming, water gymnastics, exercise on a stationary bike.

Alternative treatment of ankle arthritis

The use of traditional medicine should be agreed with the attending physician and do not replace the prescribed treatment with these agents.

  • To remove soreness and swelling, baths from spruce branches help.
  • Inflammation is faster with compresses from heated flaxseeds.
  • Wrapping a blanket of tissue applied to the joint dipped in a weak vinegar solution relieves pain and warms up the inflamed ankle.

Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Having a genetic predisposition to this disease or detecting its symptoms, it is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the joints. Be sure to take vitamin complexes, adhere to a calcium-rich diet, exclude smoked and canned foods from the diet, avoid gaining excess weight, do not overcool, completely cure infectious diseases, play sports.

Knowing the symptoms and causes of arthritis of the ankle joint, you can recognize this insidious disease in time and stop its development.

Symptoms of Arthritis of the Ankle

Ankle arthritis is an inflammation of the ankle joint, a very painful disease that can lead to disability.
Feet and legs support the weight of a person and huge physical exertion. Therefore, for the quality of life and movement without improvised means, it is important to seek help from a rheumatologist or orthopedist in time.
Today it is difficult to say which age is more susceptible to the disease. However, a significant rejuvenation of ankle arthritis is a worldwide sad reality. Unlike other types of arthritis, more affecting women, the ankle is more likely to suffer in men.
The disease is many-sided, because there are many causes of ankle inflammation, and it is by this criterion that the disease is classified. The common thing that unites them is the mechanism of the arthritis of the ankle joint, which depends on many reasons. Joint inflammation changes the quality of the lubricant in the joint bag. Due to this, tissue edema occurs and bones are damaged.

Type of Arthritis
Causes and characteristic symptoms
Rheumatoid The synovial membrane becomes inflamed, the joints of both legs are affected equally. Body temperature is high, a person is tormented by pain. Rheumatoid nodes appear near the joints
Osteoarthritis It becomes the cause of joint deformation, makes itself felt pain in the evening or as a result of stress. Over time, the foot loses mobility
Gouty It occurs due to the deposition of salts. Manifested by pain, inflammation, nodules on the joint
Reactive It appears after infectious diseases as a reaction of the immune system to their pathogens. It is characterized by high temperature, poor health, enlarged lymph nodes
Psoriatic It is associated with skin lesions due to a hereditary factor.
Post-traumatic The cause of this type of arthritis is joint injuries, for example, torn ligaments, sprains, fractures, dislocations
Purulent Not a very common variety. It occurs if an infection gets into the joint and begins to spread throughout the body. Ankle suffers first and inflames

Shin arthritis happens:

  • acute;
  • chronic
  • primary;
  • one-, two-way, migratory;
  • secondary (is a reaction to another disease);
  • affects one joint (monoarthritis);
  • spreads to several joints (polyarthritis).

According to statistics, rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle joint among these varieties occurs most often.

In medical practice, it is customary to cons />

  1. characterized by pain in articulation during movement
  2. pain is almost constant, foot mobility is significantly reduced
  3. stage is indicative of foot deformity, ankylosis (immobility) of the joint. A person can only walk with a wand. Disability is coming.

Causes, diagnosis, treatment of arthritis of the ankle joint

To make the correct diagnosis, which determines the treatment, the patient will have to pass a number of tests in the laboratory and undergo hardware diagnostics. Doctors need to determine the general state of human health and look inside the joint. The following activities will be required:

  • blood tests;
  • roentgenogram;
  • blood for antibodies to a specific infection;
  • Ultrasound;
  • MRI;
  • if necessary – arthroscopy and biopsy.

Due to the fact that arthritis of the ankle joint has similar symptoms with some other diseases of the joints, it is unlikely that he can make a proper diagnosis. Therefore, you will have to have patience and strength and go to a professional.
A rheumatologist prescribes an individual comprehensive treatment consisting in taking medications and physiotherapeutic procedures. Subsequent physiotherapy exercises carried out under the supervision of a doctor give excellent results.

No medicine should be taken without the advice of a doctor. Many have serious s />Everything happens exclusively under the supervision of a doctor.

If arthritis of the ankle joint was caused by infection, you will have to undergo a course of antibiotics. To improve immunity, the doctor prescribes vitamin complexes.
From physiotherapeutic procedures, cold therapy, hydromassage, and ultrasound give good results.
Surgical methods are used only when drug treatment does not give results. Today there are and have proven themselves well:

    osteotomy, the purpose of which is to evenly distribute the load on both s >An important role in the treatment of ankle arthritis, the symptoms of which are complex and diverse, is played by the diet. It is necessary to limit protein food, but vegetable is welcome. It is very good for joints to eat oily fish, various jellied meat and jelly. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and dishes containing gelatin are rich in collagen, which helps in the restoration of joint tissue.
    The prognosis depends on the cause of the inflammatory process. However, the disease always proceeds with relapses. Reactive is better treatable, but with rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis it’s more difficult. They provoke deformation of the joint and lead to its immobility. Therefore, it will take much more effort of the patient and the doctor to delay the development of destructive processes.

Characteristics of arthritis of the ankle joint: causes, signs of recognition, diet for disease

The ankle joint plays an important role in the human musculoskeletal system. Due to its complex structure, it has great mobility, is subjected to colossal daily loads, can withstand the weight of the whole body. Any minor pathology limits the amplitude of movement. Arthritis of the ankle joint is an inflammatory disease that can develop at any age. It destructively affects the articular and adjacent tissues, leads to deformation and, in the absence of treatment, to disability.


In the international classifier of diseases ICD 10, arthritis is assigned the code M05 – M14. The digital value depends on the causes and clinical course of the pathology. Arthritis is often confused with arthrosis. In the first case, an inflammatory process of various etiologies occurs, which affects all joint structures (cartilage, articular membranes, bone joints, ligaments and soft tissues).

Arthrosis occurs due to the destruction of cartilage. Its thinning leads to friction of bone structures and joint deformation. In most cases, arthritis becomes the cause of arthrosis.

By the nature of the disease, arthritis is divided into acute (primary), associated with infectious inflammation and chronic – developing gradually. Primary pathology is easily treatable, does not cause relapses and does not require re-seeking medical help.

The acute stage of the disease without timely and proper treatment can go into a protracted form. The course of the pathological process for more than 3 months with periodic exacerbations and remissions is diagnosed as chronic arthritis. Long-term illness can lead to deformation of the limb, the loss of its aesthetic appearance, disability.

Depending on the location of the lesion, arthritis of the ankle joint is distinguished:

According to the course of the disease, doctors divide arthritis into:

Why arises

The most common causes of the development of pathology are injuries and infectious diseases. Sometimes there is a violation of immune reactivity, which leads to the fact that joint tissues are perceived by the immune system as foreign and are actively attacked by antibodies.

The main factors provoking ankle joint disease:

  • failure in the hormonal system;
  • a weakened immune system;
  • allergy to external irritants;
  • bad habits;
  • prolonged hypothermia;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • excessive load on the joint;
  • infections of a specific and non-specific nature;
  • overweight;
  • injuries.

On a note. Children’s arthritis of the ankle joint can provoke acute respiratory infections, allergic reactions to food, household chemicals, animal hair. In rare cases, the cause is difficult to establish – it is believed that the development of the pathological process is due to a genetic predisposition.

Symptoms and Degrees

Signs of ankle arthritis depend on the causes, clinical presentation, and extent of the disease. All inflammatory processes have a number of common symptoms:

  • burning pains in the joint;
  • edema – when pressed on soft tissues, white spots remain;
  • temperature increase;
  • limitation of the amplitude of movements;
  • redness of the skin;
  • poor health and weakness.

With rheumatoid arthritis, in most cases the ankle suffers from infection. There is redness, swelling of the joint, stiffness. The course of the disease passes with periods of exacerbation and remissions, which becomes the cause of joint deformation.

Septic arthritis causes an infection, more often staphylococcus and streptococcus, less often gonorrhea, tuberculosis, syphilis. Bacteria penetrate the tissues of the joint and can cause purulent arthritis. In response, the immune system responds with fever, joint inflammation, limited mobility, and sharp pains.

Reactive arthritis is not purulent. Inflammation occurs against the background of diseases of the genitourinary system and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Swelling begins, intense pain in the joint, a slight increase in body temperature. A characteristic feature is the exacerbation of pain during rest.

Gouty – occurs primarily due to metabolic disorders. The disease affects people over 40 years old. Symptoms include:

  • sharp pain in the evening;
  • discoloration of the skin on the affected area;
  • temporary disappearance of symptoms of the disease, even if untreated.

Psoriatic – develops against a background of psoriasis. The main symptoms are aching pains, red-blue color of tissues in the affected joint area, psoriasis on the skin.

Post-traumatic – degenerative changes in the joint arise as a result of the inflammatory process, which is provoked by permanent injuries (dislocation, subluxation, bruises). Typical symptoms: pain, swelling, fluid accumulation, limited mobility.

Degrees of disease and consequences

In medical practice, it is customary to divide the arthritis of the ankle joint into degrees, depending on the clinical manifestations and symptoms.

There are 3 degrees of the pathological process:

  1. At 1 degree, minor changes occur. There is a slight pain in the joint, which disappears after a short rest. The inflammatory process is not visually visible, a person does not pay attention to the problem until the disease moves to the next stage of development.
  2. At 2 degrees, swelling of the joint occurs, its mobility is limited, deformation begins. In this case, the pains are permanent, even at rest.
  3. Lack of treatment provokes the 3rd degree of the disease. The patient cannot move normally, lameness appears, the foot is noticeably deformed. In parallel, common signs of inflammation in the body occur.

On a note. If you do not deal with timely treatment, the cartilage tissue is completely destroyed, the joint is deformed, the muscles atrophy, the lower leg becomes much thinner. In addition to aesthetic discomfort, a person suffers from constant pain. In the future, there is a complete fusion of the joint (ankylosis) and lifelong disability.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnostics consists in laboratory and instrumental studies. To confirm arthritis, the doctor prescribes the following examinations:

  • general and biochemical blood test;
  • Ultrasound;
  • joint x-ray;
  • MRI is a more informative study that allows you to examine soft tissues and bone structures.

Treatment is aimed at removing the inflammatory process. Complete immobilization of the foot with a bandage is recommended. Allowed to walk, leaning on a cane to unload the joint. As part of drug therapy, painkillers, non-steroidal drugs, broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs, and vitamins are used. An important point is the observance of a special diet aimed at good nutrition and weight loss.

To achieve an effective therapeutic effect in arthritis, diet food is prescribed. It is recommended to exclude foods containing a large amount of purines and oxalic acid from the diet, as well as limit salt intake.

  • drinking plenty of clean water;
  • split meals;
  • introduction to the menu of up to 50 percent of fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • the use of a sufficient amount of dairy products (exclude milk);
  • preference should be given to dietary meat (chicken, rabbit);
  • without fail to eat seafood.
  • alcohol;
  • strong tea and coffee;
  • fast food;
  • snack products;
  • animal fats and oils;
  • eggplant, tomatoes;
  • mushrooms;
  • green garlic and onions.

On a note. It is better to cook food steamed, you can boil and stew, lightly pass the vegetables with a minimum amount of vegetable oil. It is useful to eat foods rich in B vitamins, ascorbic acid. As practice shows, compliance with dietary nutrition accelerates the rehabilitation of the patient.

Transient arthritis in children

Inflammation of the ankle joint can occur in both an adult and a child. The cause of transient (temporary) arthritis in children is mainly infectious diseases, in rare cases, immunological abnormalities and a hereditary factor.

Parents need to carefully monitor the child and when the first signs appear, consult a doctor. Symptoms of arthritis in children are more pronounced than in adults.

  • fever;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • headache complaints;
  • apathy and lethargy;
  • a sharp decrease in appetite;
  • weight loss.

The first signs in a child may appear a few weeks after an infectious disease. In the morning there is lameness, swelling of the joint, a change in the temperature of the skin over the affected joint. At the first symptoms, you must urgently consult a doctor, undergo a complete diagnosis and treatment.

On a note. There is no specific prophylaxis for transient arthritis. To reduce the risk of developing pathology, it is necessary to have a trusting relationship with the younger generation, treat infectious diseases on time, temper the child, and establish his proper nutrition.

Deforming arthritis is an inflammatory disease that, without timely treatment, leads to a change and destruction of the joint. Only comprehensive and timely therapy with the use of medications, physiotherapy will restore the functionality of the articular joint and prevent the recurrence of relapses.

Arthritis of the Ankle

What is ankle arthritis?

Ankle arthritis is an inflammation of the ankle joint that develops against the background of systemic lupus, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis. The course of the pathological process is often accompanied by an infection that enters the damaged joint through blood and lymph.

According to statistics, in 80% of cases this disease affects people of advanced age (60 and older). But doctors say that arthritis, including the ankle, has rapidly become “younger”. Now it is often detected even in children.

The name of the ankle joint speaks for itself, it connects the foot and lower leg. Due to the complex structure and the special shape of the joint, the human feet have high mobility. Moreover, if we compare the daily load on the knee, hip and ankle joint, then the latter is much higher, which means that it is more prone to injuries or other injuries.

Symptoms of Arthritis of the Ankle

Ankle arthritis has two forms: acute and chronic:

The acute form is characterized by a rapid onset of the disease with vivid symptoms, which is expressed in the rapid development of edema in the joint with an increase in local temperature. In acute purulent form, the skin over the affected joint acquires a reddish tint. Body temperature is high.

In chronic form, ankle arthritis manifests itself as a feeling of stiffness in the joint and pain. These signs are especially pronounced when a person wakes up after a night’s sleep, at this point redness and swelling are almost not observed.

The manifestation of the general symptoms of the disease depends on the form of the pathological process. It is important to understand that the lack of adequate treatment for two years threatens the complete destruction of the cartilage of the ankle joint. As a result, the area of ​​the joint noticeably thickens, while its position becomes unnatural, the person experiences significant difficulties when walking, and passive movements of the ankle become extremely difficult or completely impossible. Atrophy of the muscles of the lower leg indicates a strong neglect of the disease – one leg becomes much thinner than the other.

By the symptoms of ankle arthritis, one can judge the main pathology that caused the development of this disease.

But since this is an inflammatory process, the following symptoms are inherent in it:

pain in one joint or both at once;

swelling, which is characterized by slow smoothing of the fossa formed after pressing it with a finger;

redness of the skin, accompanied by an increase in local temperature (the ankle area is “on”);

limited mobility of the affected joint and difficulty in moving;

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weakness, poor health, body temperature increased.

The main symptom of arthritis is difficulty moving, which is impossible to ignore. For this reason, people go to the doctor for an initial appointment.

The initial stage of the disease can manifest itself in an acute form, or proceed gradually.

The disease does not manifest itself in the earliest stages, but the following symptoms indicate the onset of the inflammatory process:

familiar shoes become cramped, which indicates the presence of edema;

flexion and extension of the ankle is accompanied by painful sensations.

Pay attention to the younger generation. The symptomatology of “children’s” ankle arthritis is identical to that of an “adult.” It is difficult for children to explain the feeling of discomfort, they can describe their condition as simple: “my leg hurts” and refuse to move independently. You can’t ignore these complaints, you need to examine the ankle and, in the presence of the slightest manifestations of edema, show the child to the doctor. Ankle injuries at an early age can cause serious illness in adulthood.

Causes of Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis of the ankle is divided into types. Consider each and see the reasons for its development:

Rheumatoid arthritis. It is considered a systemic disease localized in the ankle. An important role in the development of this disease is played by a person’s genetic predisposition. Its course is often accompanied by mild swelling and aching pain in the joint.

Periarthritis. This variety is characterized by inflammation of the tissues surrounding the surface of the joint. Degenerative processes rarely affect the ankle, but this disease is characterized by soreness and limitation of the motor activity of the joint.

Traumatic arthritis. Its name itself speaks of the cause of its occurrence – it is a sprain or rupture of the articular ligaments, bruises and other closed injuries. As a result of damage, a certain amount of blood enters the joint cavity, which causes aseptic inflammation. With open injury (gunshot wounds), septic (purulent) arthritis almost always develops.

Gouty arthritis. The reason for the development of the disease is a violation of metabolism (metabolism) caused by bad habits (abuse of tobacco, coffee, alcohol). These excesses increase the level of uric acid in the human blood, with which the body can no longer cope. As a result, its salts (urates) are deposited in tissues and organs.

Reactive arthritis. It affects the joints as a result of transferred nasopharyngeal, genitourinary, intestinal infections. It is accompanied by pain in the ankle joint, slight swelling and stiffness of movements.

Post-traumatic arthritis. The cause of the disease is mechanical damage to the cartilage, capsule, tendon, joint ligament. This problem is often addressed by hockey players and football players, fans of skis or skates, lovers of shoes with high and unstable heels.

Common causes of ankle arthritis are :

Infectious attack of the joint by pathogenic bacteria. There is a specific form of the disease (infection with pale spirochete, chlamydia or gonococcus) and non-specific – a secondary response to furunculosis or flu;

metabolic disturbance (gout) caused by the presence of parasitic invasion, bad habits. Arthritis, in this case, is seen as a secondary disease;

failure in the immune system (ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus). The body perceives joint tissues as foreign and begins direct aggression against them;

mechanical damage and trauma to the joint.

The causes of ankle arthritis may be intestinal or urogenital infections (urethritis, acute prostatitis, enterocolitis, vaginitis). They can cause reactive arthritis several days or weeks after the onset of the underlying disease.

Ankle arthritis can be triggered by:

wearing tight shoes or walking on unstable high heels,

professional activities (outdoor sports, ballet),

Treatment of ankle arthritis

After the doctor has made the final diagnosis, indicating signs of ankle arthritis, the patient is first assigned the maximum rest. If possible – bed rest. If complete rest cannot be observed, then immobilization with the help of elastic bandages is necessary. As auxiliary means crutches or a cane, orthopedic shoes or inserts should be used.

Depending on the form of the disease, treatment can be conservative or surgical.

Conservative treatment boils down to:

antibacterial therapy, the purpose of which is justified only in the fight against the bacterial form of the disease. Broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs are used (tetracycline, chloramphenicol);

a special diet in which the patient should abandon the nightshade, as they provoke pain, and from the use of canned food and smoked meats, since they contain a large amount of salt;

anti-inflammatory non-steroidal agents, such as diclofenac, aspirin, voltaren. They reduce puffiness, but their use should be under the supervision of a specialist, since they have undesirable side effects. When the disease is in progression, hormone therapy is prescribed;

painkillers. These funds are necessary for the patient to relieve pain in the affected area. However, when the pain stops, the person feels relief and begins to increase the load on the ankle, which is fraught with even greater problems with the joint. That is why doctors categorically insist on the use of crutches and other auxiliaries during treatment;

vitamin therapy. To improve metabolic processes in the body as a whole and directly in the damaged joint, folic acid and vitamins B and C are prescribed;

biologically active additives with collagen as the main component. It contains glucosamine, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, and collagen hydrolyzate – a component that is part of the structure of the cartilage tissue of the joint.

With untimely treatment of the disease, synovitis or deforming arthrosis may develop, and then drug therapy can no longer be dispensed with.

As for surgical treatment, it can only be prescribed in case of severe and advanced forms of the disease that caused deformation of the ankle joint. The purpose of the intervention is to increase the ability of the joint to move. The main methods are reduced to the fusion or prosthetics of the ankle joint.

In the treatment of ankle arthritis, physiotherapeutic methods are actively used, such as ultrasound, hydromassage. With their help, you can significantly reduce pain, and in addition, they help restore the function of the affected joint.

As therapeutic and rehabilitation measures, doctors recommend physical therapy exercises. These exercises help strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle joint, which reduces the strain on the ankle.

If the usual walk is still difficult, then it can be replaced by visits to the pool. Movement in the water will ease the load on the ankle.

A visit to the sanatorium will facilitate the fastest recovery after an arthritis of the ankle joint. With the help of mud therapy, hydromassage, deep warming and therapeutic baths, patients manage to get rid of the consequences of the disease or delay another exacerbation, if we are talking about the chronic form of ankle arthritis.

Education: diploma in “General Medicine” was obtained in 2009 at the Medical Academy. I.M.Sechenova. In 2012, he completed postgraduate studies in the specialty “Traumatology and Orthopedics” at the City Clinical Hospital named after Botkin at the Department of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Disaster Surgery.

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Causes, signs and treatment of ankle arthritis

Arthritis of the ankle joint is an inflammatory disease that occurs due to the development of increased load on the legs and wear of bone tissue. In order to suspect the occurrence of the disease, you should familiarize yourself with the causes of the pathology, the main symptoms, methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Signs of occurrence and causes of ankle arthritis

The development of this disease contributes to a number of signs that are a prerequisite for the occurrence of complications of pathology. The following symptoms of the onset of arthritis of the ankle joint are distinguished:

  1. The presence of persistent pain in the joint;
  2. The occurrence of swelling in the ankle. In this case, the edema may not be too noticeable, but palpates when you click on the joint;
  3. High fever, redness at the site of damage to the foot;
  4. Joint deformation, which is characterized by limited mobility of the joint and difficulty walking;
  5. Common signs of an inflammatory process (chills, lethargy, worsening general condition).

Pathology of the ankle joint can occur in acute or
gradual phase. A sharp manifestation of pain in the joint area or a gradual occurrence of pathology is observed.

The course of arthritis is characterized by the appearance of such symptoms as:

  1. Pain when bending the foot. To check for signs of joint damage, you should try to bend the foot as much as possible to the side of the lower leg. With the development of pathology, it is almost impossible to do this, since sharp pain appears;
  2. The appearance of edema in the ankle. This phenomenon is observed when putting on shoes, which in the presence of a tumor may not fasten. And also there is general discomfort while walking in shoes.

The main causes of arthritis of the ankle joint are identified:

  • Possible complications due to the development of infectious diseases;
  • Disorders of the general metabolism in the body (development of gouty arthritis);
  • Getting permanent injuries of the leg or foot (professional sports, some types of professional activity);
  • Genetic predisposition;
  • Strong hypothermia of the body;
  • The presence of excess weight, which increases the load on the joint.

Arthritis also has a chronic form, which can develop asymptomatically over several years. The joint gradually collapses, general deformity is expressed, the foot is in an unnatural position and complete atrophy of the muscles of the lower leg and thigh is observed.

The degree of development of arthritis of the ankle joint

Depending on the severity of the disease, scientists identified 3 main stages of arthritis, which characterize the stage of a person’s physical activity. All stages of the development of pathology should be considered in detail.

  • The first degree is the appearance of the initial signs of the development of the disease. In this case, there is pain in the joint, which disappears after a long rest. There are no expressed symptoms, so the person continues to lead a familiar lifestyle, and the disease progresses to the onset of the second degree of arthritis.
  • Second degree. There is a constant pain in the ankle joint, while it does not stop even with a prolonged state of rest. Damage to the joint is characterized by redness and swelling, there is a restriction of movement and complete deformation of the joint, which leads to a stop of the functionality of the foot.
  • The third degree of development of arthritis of the ankle joint occurs due to the lack of proper treatment of the second stage and has serious consequences that can lead to disability. A person cannot move independently and do any work, the joint is completely limited. And in parallel, there are common signs of inflammation in the body.

Classification of ankle arthritis

The classification of arthritis of the ankle joint is determined by the presence of individual pronounced symptoms and the following types are considered:

  1. Reactive type ankle arthritis. Appears as a result of infection through mucous membranes or skin. It has signs of pain in the joint, swelling and slight restriction of mobility;
  2. Arthritis of the gouty type. This type of pathology occurs with an increase in the normalized indicators of uric acid in the blood, which contributes to the deposition of salts in the joint and leads to its destruction;
  3. Arthritis of an arthritic nature is observed with complete destruction of the cartilage tissue in the joint and the presence of constant pain during physical exertion;
  4. Arthritis of the rheumatoid type is characterized by the appearance of signs laid down at the genetic level and developing when favorable conditions arise (excessive load on the joint). Constant pain and a slight swelling of the joint on both feet are observed, which over time passes into a pathology of a chronic form.

It should be noted that only a qualified rheumatologist can determine the exact type of arthritis of the ankle joint, who will choose the right treatment regimen and recovery procedure!

Methods for diagnosing ankle arthritis

In order to establish an accurate diagnosis of the disease, special research methods should be carried out:

  1. Clinical analysis of blood and urine;
  2. Blood biochemistry;
  3. Antibody Detection Study;
  4. X-ray examination;
  5. The use of cutting-edge tomography;
  6. Conducting ultrasound;
  7. Arthroscopy exercise.

After the treatment methods are carried out and the general symptoms are studied, the rheumatologist can establish a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Methods for treating ankle arthritis

Therapy of arthritis of the ankle joint is complex and effective when using all prescribed methods of therapy. There are several proven methods for limb restoration:

  • The use of drug therapy. By this method is meant the administration of various chemical preparations. To eliminate the painful symptoms, non-steroidal analgesics are used (Ketonal, Diclofenac, Arkoxia, Ibuprofen). And they also use hormonal drugs (Celeston, Prednisolone), multivitamin complexes aimed at maintaining the general condition and chondoprotectors with a restorative effect (Glucosamine-Chondroitin, Structum, Teraflex).
  • Conducting surgical intervention. This method is used for the third degree of arthritis of the ankle joint, when the cartilage tissue is completely destroyed and surgery is required. Arthroscopy and arthroplasty are among such procedures. The first method is based on the use of a special device with which dead tissue is removed in the joint or cartilage tissue is partially restored. And they also perform joint prosthetics in the case when it is impossible to restore it. The postoperative period averages 6–12 months.
  • The use of traditional medicine. It also brings positive results in combination with other treatment methods. But it should be remembered that the use of a prescription at home is best coordinated with your doctor. In most cases, compresses are prescribed based on aloe, elderberry, birch buds, currant leaves. A good effect is the use of alcohol tinctures, baths based on Sabernik grass, pine needles extract. You can apply cabbage leaves to the affected joint, as they have anti-inflammatory and traction properties.
  • Physiological procedures are quite effective when observing complex measures aimed at restoring the joint. The most used methods: special massage, mud baths, cold therapy, ultrasonic waves, foot heating. And also, as a supplement, manual therapy and treatment are used in spa conditions. Shoes that are sewn by special orthopedic measures should be worn in order to fix the joint in the correct position.
  • Ointments for acute arthritis. There are many drugs of this form of release of various effects. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory ointments are mainly used: Diclofenac, Ortofen, Nimesulide, Ketonal. Warming and restorative agents are also widely used (Viprosal, Kapsikam, Finalgon, Viparin, Apizatron).
  • Physiotherapy. In the treatment of arthritis of the ankle joint, the doctor prescribes a set of exercise therapy exercises that contribute to the restoration and improvement of the general condition. The acute phase of the disease does not provide for these manipulations, which should be carried out with a relatively quiet period of pathology.

Below are some types of gymnastic procedures:

  1. Transfer of the foot from the fingers to the heel and in the opposite direction. Perform 3-4 approaches on each side;
  2. Constant walking on the heels and on the inside of the foot. The knees should not be bent. The duration of the exercise is 1-2 minutes;
  3. Jumping with the calf muscle to push away. One approach is 10-12 jumps, while performing the maximum extension of the joint.

It should be emphasized that obtaining a positive prognosis in the treatment of ankle arthritis depends on the correctness and accuracy of fulfilling all the prescribed prescriptions of the attending physician! The rehabilitation period can last quite a long time, and re-treatment can be prescribed several months after the first course of therapy.

In the final part, I want to say that arthritis of the ankle joint is a serious disease and in the absence of proper treatment can contribute to the acquisition of disability. Therefore, in order to prevent negative consequences, the correct therapeutic and preventive measures should be taken that will lead to the restoration of a person’s physical activity!

Shishkevich Vladimir
Shishkevich Vladimir
Orthopedic doctor, traumatologist
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I have been treating joints for many years. I can say with confidence that the joints are always treatable, even in the very ripe old age.

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Rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases. Specialization: diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and deformations of the musculoskeletal system.