Ankle Arthritis

ankle_oA_v2.jpgArthritis, specifically degenerative arthritis, is defined as a chronic progressive disorder most commonly seen in the elderly that usually affects the weight bearing joints of the body. Arthritis is a disorder that affects the cartilage surfaces of the joints of the body. These surfaces are normally very smooth and soft and can withstand the pressure put through it and maintain smooth movement of the joint. When the joint surface is damaged normal healthy cartilage that is getting its proper nutrition should be able to heal itself.

The cartilage of most joints have no direct blood supply and relies on the movement of the joints to bring the nutrition to it and induce into its surface. This creates the situation that after an injury that causes damage to the cartilage of a joint, we usually respond by not moving that joint because it is damaged and hurting.  When we do this we are actually preventing the normal healing of the cartilage because it will not be able to get its proper nutrition to heal itself. Cartilage can become damaged any number of ways, from an intense acute ankle_oA_xray_v2.jpgtraumatic incident to repetitive motion to degeneration associated with aging. Once the cartilage has become arthritic there is no reversing these changes and the treatment will focus on limiting its progression and eventual disability that is associated with degenerative Arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms:

Someone suffering from degenerative arthritis in the ankle will usually report pain of an achy nature that comes on during their first few steps during their day, but the pain will diminish as they "warm up" the ankle. After resting the ankle again, the pain will return with the first few steps. The ankle is a common site for degeneration without previous injury, but early onset degeneration is almost always associated a history of a significant injury. When the arthritic ankle is acutely painful there will often be an associated swelling and a decrease in the normal ability to move the joint, the range of motion. If allowed to progress unchecked degenerative Arthritis will eventually lead to deformity and disability of the joint.

Treatment:

Conservative chiropractic care along with physiotherapy, low level laser therapy, specific exercise manouvers and proper supportive shoes have been found to be extremely effective in treating the aches and pains associated with arthritis of the ankle and even more effective if preventing the natural progression of the disorder once it has started. However, some chronic severe cases may require surgical consultation and intervention.

If you or someone you know is needlessly suffering from ankle pain due to arthritis, come into Advanced Healthcare and have Dr. Pisarek develop a customized treatment protocol without the use of drugs or surgery that will have you on the road to living and playing pain free today!

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