Symptoms and treatment of osteoarthritis of the ankle

With ankle osteoarthritis, the symptoms and treatment will largely depend on the type of injury and the degree of neglect of the patient's condition. Do not neglect the diagnosis, so you should consult a specialist. Only the attending physician will tell you in detail how to cure ankle osteoarthritis, what is so dangerous in itself and if it is possible to get rid of this problem forever.

Causes of the disease

During the development of osteoarthritis of the ankle, 2 groups are distinguished: primary (appear without special reasons) and secondary (appear due to negative external factors). Other names for this disease: crusarthrosis (suffering of the right or left ankle) or osteoarthritis. With osteoarthritis of the lower leg, degenerative processes occur in cartilage tissues, which then cause a number of deviations.

pain in the ankle joints with osteoarthritis

In most cases, the disease is found in older men and women. Over time, the organs in the internal system do not function as actively and correctly, and in some cases, failures lead to thinning of bone and cartilage tissue. In a normal state, the joints slide freely during movement without touching each other.

If they adversely affect osteoarthritis, the joint deforms and begins to rub against another joint. This causes an extra load, which then goes to the bone, which brings about its deformation. When the joint is injured again, the surrounding tissues are also affected. The legs lose their mobility and do not tolerate a large load (with paresis).

Other reasons

A common cause of ankle hemarthrosis is active physical activity, which has a direct effect on the musculoskeletal system. At risk are people whose work is associated with carrying heavy loads or any other active work. A similar cause provokes an illness in professional athletes or in those who have been actively involved in sports for a long time. Due to incorrect loads, considerable pressure is exerted on the limb, which in turn causes damage.

Acute osteoarthritis is a common problem for overweight people because during movement a mass presses on the lower limbs, which the legs can not resist. With obesity, the disease can also develop in young people (around 20 years old) if a person has been diagnosed with it since childhood. Other diseases that cause deforming arthrosis of the ankle (reasons discussed above):

  • gout;
  • diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis (metabolic diseases);
  • congenital deformities of the feet, ankles (foot);
  • any condition in which a nerve is suppressed.

This disrupts the functioning of the muscular apparatus (for example, osteochondrosis). Due to the flat feet or the bed, in addition to the deforming condition, subtalar arthrosis also appears (so called because of changes in the tail).

Different types of knee or foot injuries (improper collection), as well as wearing uncomfortable shoes, small or badly made, are also causes of ankle osteoarthritis. Women are particularly at risk. They have negative symptoms leading to wearing high heels.

Symptoms and stages

Years can pass from the initial manifestation of the disease to the final stage of the disease. The timing of development will depend on the initial condition of the human body, the treatment and the appropriateness of the applicable therapy. The signs of osteoarthritis will vary in a number of symptoms characteristic of it.

First of all, with each load, even slightly increased, in the joints, a person begins to feel a sharp pain of needle piercing in the foot. The same thing happens if the patient moves long distances at a slow pace. The joints often creak and creak.

The patient begins to twist the legs, which sometimes ends in dislocations in the ankle. This occurs due to dysfunction of muscles and tendons, up to atrophy of muscle tissue (a decrease or change in muscle tissue, followed by its replacement by a connective tissue that is unable to perform basic motor functions). It is for the same reason that stiffness and swelling are often felt in the legs.

Doctors distinguish 3 stages of disease development. The first two are completely treatable, after which the person fully returns to his previous life. In grade 3, patients are often given disability for osteoarthritis.

During the development of stage 1 disease, the symptoms of osteoarthritis appear very little. A person can go to a medical institution with a complaint of rapid limb fatigue and slight pain in the legs, which disappear after rest. The diagnosis of limb osteoarthritis is rarely made, as no pathology is found in the patient during the studies.

In the second stage, the pain does not disappear after rest. Swelling and redness appear on the feet, which will lead to an increase in temperature. The pain intensifies during an active change of weather conditions, swelling occurs.

In the last stage, the cartilage tissue is ossified, causing the patient considerable discomfort, from which the person suffers from severe pain. The legs lose their mobility and with each step a crackle is heard. If the disease begins, it can lead to another diagnosis - deformity of the foot. This pathology gives the right to receive a disability, so treatment should be started immediately.

At this stage, osteoarthritis is dangerous. Some distinguish another 4th degree, in which the pain disappears completely, but the person loses the ability to walk because the cartilage at this stage is completely destroyed and paralysis occurs. At the same time, stage 4 is characterized by the frequent development of ankylosis (when the joints join) and neoarthritis (when an unnecessary or false joint forms between the displaced edges of the bone).

Post-traumatic arthrosis

Post-traumatic arthrosis of the ankle requires timely treatment because, unlike deformity and acute, it is characteristic of young people as it appears after an injury. For example, with dislocations, fractures and sprains.

Any tissue damage after an injury does not go unnoticed, directly affecting blood vessels and nerves.

At first, the patient does not feel any discomfort, only over time he begins to notice that during walking the leg is twisted because the ligaments are weakened and can no longer support the entire leg.

Over time, with osteoarthritis of the ankle, physical activity (especially in athletes) becomes more difficult, the legs get tired quickly during exercise. Girls often in such cases have complaints that they can not sit on the string even with long daily stretches and performed correctly. The improvement is constantly followed by forgiveness, during which the foot swells, hurts and does not calm down even after rest.

Often, it is post-traumatic osteoarthritis that causes pseudoarthrosis, a bone defect that causes severe joint mobility. For example, it becomes possible to bend the arm at the elbow not only back but also forward. Pseudarthrosis occurs during bone healing, when tissues grow together incorrectly.

Often, post-traumatic arthrosis of the ankle is a consequence of surgical intervention during other surgeries. Wounds form in the area of tissue, damaging blood circulation. The risk increases when a part of the affected wrist is removed as needed during surgery. Treatment of post-traumatic ankle osteoarthritis occurs according to the same methodology as in the case of other types.

What you need and do not need for osteoarthritis

Is it possible to exercise with this disease? It is important to reduce the load on the diseased joint as much as possible, therefore, after making the diagnosis, try not to lift weights, running is prohibited, you can not jump, do squats, do push-ups andheavy weight compression during stay. , engage in stroke gymnastics, perform asymmetric exercises, and engage in static loads (e. g. , sitting). You can use a walking stick to help relieve arthritis pain while walking.

However, it is not recommended at all to refuse physical activity. On the contrary, normal ankle blood circulation with osteoarthritis is achieved faster by engaging in sports. Recommended for diseases (especially post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the ankle) brisk walking or swimming.

Each extra kilogram of weight will increase the stress on the leg and cause swelling of the ankle, so even a slight weight loss will significantly speed up the recovery time. Losing weight too quickly is not recommended, moderate exercise and a proper (but not slimming) diet will gradually return the body to normal. From osteoarthritis, mono-diets will not help, as well as those that will dramatically and radically change the usual diet. If you are going to switch to a vegetarian diet, it is better to wait until you are fully recovered.

Choose shoes with low and wide heels. For the ankle joint, you can and should wear a small wide heel, but not ballet flats or sneakers. These shoes are the most comfortable and safest to wear and significantly increase the durability of the foot while walking. The soft nail will further reduce some of the load on the joints.

The upper part should be soft and wide, not to compress the foot, but the wrong size of boots will only increase the risk of injury. If you suffer from flat feet, this only exacerbates the problem. When a person steps on the ground, the impact on it, along with the twisted leg, should be extinguished by the wrist. In this case, special orthopedic insoles or footrests will help.

While sitting, try to keep your knees slightly lower than your hips. Furniture with high legs will help with this, preferably with armrests. Such places with gloves will be especially important for existing pain, as this will reduce the load on the knee joint during lifting. When working in the office, place the desk chair so that your feet do not become numb. If the furniture is of poor quality, do not sit down and occasionally stand up to do a warm-up.

If you are doing foot massage yourself or seeking help from a specialist, remember that knee massage itself is strictly forbidden. Gonarthrosis also becomes inflamed in the articular sac itself and active blood circulation inside will only increase the pain. Is it possible to heat the joints in the bathroom or use a variety of heat compresses in therapy? Yes, but only if the person is sure of his diagnosis, and the attending physician does not object to such procedures. Do not use heat if injections for osteoarthritis in the form of corticosteroids are prescribed.

Medical treatment

How to treat osteoarthritis of the ankle? Therapy should be comprehensive and work with several techniques. First of all, it is necessary to reduce the load on the ankle as much as possible, especially during the period of pain exacerbation. A bandage or cane walk with emphasis on a healthy foot will help with this. Do not overdo it, give up running and other physical activities for a while (running is dangerous).

By themselves, medications will not increase a person's motor activity, but they can facilitate movement and relieve pain. Good analgesics that relieve pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

NSAIDs have a bad effect on the gastric mucosa, causing a variety of problems and pain, so it is best to use them in the form of various ointments or injections. These funds are intended to reduce pain, many of which allow you to remove swelling and inflammation. For the same reasons, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, are injected into the joints. Their use is advised when the disease is at a critical stage and other drugs no longer give any effect, as corticosteroids are strong and powerful drugs.

In the modern method of treatment, the drug is injected directly into the joint itself with the help of steroid hormones or with the help of hyaluronic acid (the same one that is so popular for cosmetic purposes). Treating osteoarthritis of the ankle with this method is expensive but effective. The injected hyaluronan is similar in composition to the intra-articular fluid and, entering inside, regenerates the damaged joint, replacing the fluid that disappeared during the course of the disease.

Treatment of edema can be carried out by means of drops, various ointments will increase the tone of the veins. Condoprotectors are the latest drugs to be used, as their main task is to restore and further protect the joint from adverse effects. Treatment of ankle osteoarthritis involves the use of chondroprotectors. The result from the use of funds occurs after at least 3 months, depending on the severity of the disease. This is why the drug is usually prescribed for treatment for a year or even longer, but only in the first two stages, because otherwise they are useless.

Operation and its varieties

The operation is prescribed in 3-4 stages of the disease, as well as for those for whom the previous methods of treatment did not give the right result. Treatment of ankle osteoarthritis with surgery has several subspecies:

  1. Arthroscopy is a well-known and frequently used method.
  2. Tibial osteotomy (also called coxarthrosis).
  3. Arthroplasty.
  4. Endoprosthetics.

During arthroscopy, the surgeon makes a small incision near the joint and inserts a small camera into it, assessing the general condition of the joints and bones. After that, the necessary surgical instruments are inserted and the operation itself is performed. Arthroscopy is considered the most economical method of treatment, as the person heals quickly after surgery and the incision made does not heal more than any ordinary incision.

In some cases, deformity of this organ causes deforming osteoarthritis of the ankle (treatment for it will be somewhat different from treatment of other types of disease), as the load on the entire ankle is misdistributed. Osteotomy aims to correct this curvature (coxarthrosis) and bone extension. It is usually contraindicated in the elderly and is used to treat young patients. During arthroplasty, a portion of the material is taken from the femur, which is not subjected to heavy loading and transferred to the ankle joint. With the endoprosthetic method, the affected area is completely or partially removed and replaced with an artificial device, but similar in structure.

Other treatment and prevention

Methods of treating ankle osteoarthritis do not end at all with the use of various medications. The next step in treatment will be a wide variety of options. Therapeutic exercise (exercise therapy) restores muscle tone and restores the ankle to previous mobility. The scheme of exercises is determined by specialists. First, physiotherapy exercises are performed in the prone position, over time - sitting and standing.

Another option is to adjust the legs. During such hours, it would be advisable to fix the leg with a bandage or refer to the principle of gluing. This is done with the help of special strips and plasters. Thus, the risk of injury is reduced to a minimum, because comfortable creams help in this. This principle is widely known among professional athletes.

Another method is the kinesiological tape. Here, cotton swabs made of hypoallergenic material are applied to the feet. The latter dries quickly on the feet, is easily fixed and does not cause any feeling of discomfort.

Some doctors are skeptical about the other method of treating deforming ankle osteoarthritis. However, it has been scientifically proven that magnetotherapy, electrophoresis and Vitafon treatment significantly increase the effect of the drugs, so they perfectly relieve the pain.

Each massage session should be performed by a specialist and last approximately 15-20 minutes. At the same time, the actions are performed not only on the ankle joint, but also move to the adjacent areas, as the leg muscles improve the performance of the whole leg as a whole. The course usually lasts 2 weeks with a break of 2 days, but treatment can be adjusted with the recommendation of a specialist.

The diet for ankle osteoarthritis should be balanced and include the use of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals. Nutrition for osteoarthritis in no case should be meager. In any case, a variety of dishes is good and healthy. Vitamins for osteoarthritis will also be important. They can be taken with the help of tablets, as well as using vitamins from fruits and vegetables.

To prevent the development of the disease, follow a number of simple rules and this disease will not appear.

For example, check your diet. Do not give up your favorite harmful products at all - try to reduce their consumption to a minimum.

While working or playing sports, try to avoid injuries and heavy loads. Before your favorite workout, make sure you do a warm-up. Osteoarthritis squat is prohibited, but if the patient recovers from the disease and returns to his old activities, this should be done as carefully as possible. Patients should wear comfortable shoes. Give preference to high quality shoes, so you should abandon heels.