What is Arthritis?

Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. There are two common types of arthritis. One is inflammatory arthritis, when the body attacks a component of the joints, leading to pain and swelling. Another type is osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear changes, which again cause pain, swelling and stiffness. Walking will lead to worsening pain, and this may continue even at night as a ‘hangover’ pain. Ankles can become increasingly swollen and stiff, leading to a limp.

Arthitis leads to the destruction of cartilage within a joint. Cartilage allows your joint to move with virtually no friction, as it has a very smooth slippy surface. If cartilage is damaged, then it loses these properties and acts more like sandpaper, grinding away remaining cartilage over time.

The joint space gradually disappears, until there is bone rubbing on bone within the joint. This loss of space can be seen on an xray. The body reacts to the joint damage by forming spurs of bone that stick out from the edges of the joint.

If you have pain in the ankle joint or one close by, it is best to see an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle surgery. You should have x-rays taken in a standing position - this will show the degree of damage within a joint, and also what deformity may have resulted.

about this condition
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operation involvesAnkle_Arthritis_Surgery.html
what to expect
after surgeryAnkle_Arthritis_Rehab.html
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