If you’re feeling pain in your ankle, you would not immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s arthritis – especially if it’s preceded by physical activities, such as sports, or an accident, such as a fall. However, many people actually experience ankle pain because of their condition. This is especially true when ankle pain occurs suddenly or comes on slowly without any discernible cause.
When people think of arthritis, what easily comes to mind is a pain in the hands, hips, and knees. However, other joints can also develop arthritis, including the ankles. Some of the earliest signs of ankle arthritis are pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion, and weakness in the ankle area.
Types of Arthritis that Affect the Ankle
Ankle arthritis may be due to osteoarthritis (OA), which is a degenerative joint disease, characterized by a wearing away of the cartilage lining the joints. It may also be due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is due to an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to mistakenly attack the cartilage that lines your joints. With RA, your body thinks the cartilage is a foreign invader, causing chronic inflammation. Doctors say people with difficulty going up the stairs and inclines due to pain and discomfort in the ankles are more likely to be diagnosed with RA. Arthritis in the ankle can also develop if a person has a history of an ankle injury, which is characteristic of post-traumatic arthritis. The injury may have accelerated the breakdown of the cartilage in the ankle, leading to the development of arthritis. Lastly, arthritis that affects the ankle joint due to elevated levels of uric acid in the blood is called gout. There is characteristic swelling of the ankle accompanied by severe pain. Symptoms generally subside within a few days, only to return intermittently.
Other Conditions That Cause Ankle Pain
Ankle pain can be indicative of different types of arthritis, but many other conditions could be causing it. For instance, if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, pain in the feet and ankles could be due to poor circulation and peripheral neuropathy. Plus, are you sure you didn’t injure your ankle? For many people, the speed and onset of ankle pain due to an injury can vary. The only way to find out what’s causing your ankle pain is to see a doctor, particularly a foot and ankle doctor or a podiatrist. An accurate diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation, a physical examination, and an image-guided exam.
Top Foot and Ankle Doctor in South Texas
If you’re seeking top-notch medical care for your feet, the podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas are ready to provide you superior and highly customized podiatric care. We can treat the full range of foot and ankle conditions, from injuries to degenerative diseases.