The ankle joint consists of three bones, one joint and copes with, on average, 3000-4000 steps per day. If you are experiencing pain, cartilage wear, known as ankle joint arthrosis, may be responsible.
Our specialists at Schoen Clinic have completed intensive research into ankle joint arthrosis and are able to offer you the best possible treatment to increase movement, reduce pain and improved your quality of life.
Arthrosis treatment without surgery
One option for relieving the symptoms of arthrosis without surgery is orthotics. If the rolling movement of your foot is corrected by the sole of your shoe, this can significantly reduce your symptoms. Various manufacturers already offer shoes with rounded soles. Alternatively, an orthopaedic shoemaker can fit an orthotic insole into your everyday shoes which can assist to hold the ankle joint in the right position and stabilise the foot.
There are other potential treatment options that do not involve surgery, and our specialists will be able to advise on these. Lifestyle modifications, minimising high intensity activities, or switching to other physical activities which lower the strain on the joint - like swimming, which can be very helpful. Physical therapy to improve muscle strength surrounding the joint can alleviate the joint stress. Your consultant could also prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain medications, or assistive devices such as braces. At Schoen Clinic we will work with you to find the best solution.
Conservative treatment methods
- Arthrosis treatment without surgery
If there are bone spurs on your X-rays, these can be removed using an endoscope (arthroscopy). During an arthroscopy, we insert a small camera into your joint via a small incision and the surgical instruments via a second incision. This enables us to remove even relatively large bone spurs in a tissue-conserving manner. Although, it is not possible to completely correct your arthrosis in this way, we achieve a significant reduction in pain and greater freedom of movement. This type of surgery can be helpful during the early stages of arthritis.
Ankle arthrodesis (fusion) also known as artificial anklyosis
This involves removing the destroyed cartilage from the joint and securely screwing your ankle bone onto the shin bone. Both bones will have merged together stably after 6-12 weeks, and you will be able to put weight on your foot again. By limiting the reinforcement to the destroyed joint parts, in most cases, a large amount of mobility can be preserved in your hind foot. For a lot of patients, this procedure can be carried out through arthroscopy, but it is also possible to carry out the procedure during open surgery. Today, fusion or artificial ankylosis is carried out in such a way that changing over to an artificial ankle joint would still be possible at some point in the future.
Artificial ankle joint (prosthesis)
It is also possible to replace the upper ankle joint with an artificial one in surgery to achieve mobility in your ankle joint. Between 85 and 90% of inserted replacements are still intact even after ten years. If however, loosening occurs the artificial ankle joint can be replaced in the future.
Surgical treatment methods
- Ankle Arthrodesis (fusion) also known as Artificial anklyosis
- Artificial ankle joint (prosthesis)