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Ankle and Foot surgery | Cheilectomy - Orthopaedics SA

Foot & Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis is a degenerative disease that can affect almost any joint. Arthritis in the feet and ankles is uncommon, making up only about 1% of arthritis cases. Most of these cases develop following a previous injury, such as an ankle fracture or cartilage damage.

Surgeons at Orthopaedics SA have undertaken additional training, including fracture management and surgical anatomy.

·      Pain and stiffness in the feet and ankles

·      The feet and ankles appearing swollen

·      Pain that increases with activity

·      Clicking, grating, or crunching noises and sensations

Arthritis develops when a joint’s cartilaginous surfaces wear out, causing bone to painfully rub against bone when the joint moves. Though this process is quite common and natural in aging, some conditions may cause it to affect the feet and ankles particularly.

Examples include:

·      Previous foot and ankle injuries – these are by far the biggest contributors to foot and ankle arthritis.

·      Genetics – you are more likely to develop arthritis in your feet and ankles if your relatives have also.

·      Body weight – being overweight can place extra pressure on your feet and ankles, making them wear out sooner.

Lifestyle changes – such as exercising more often, losing weight, eating healthier, or wearing custom-made footwear can reduce your risk of developing foot and ankle arthritis or reduce its severity if it has already developed.

·      Ankle replacement surgery – total ankle replacement is not a common procedure, and is only performed on rare occasions.

·      Ankle fusion surgery

·      Exercises done in water (like swimming or water aerobics)

·      NSAID medications

Ankle arthroscopy may be recommended to debride the ankle joint, by removing cartilage, bone fragments, and spurs that might be present in the joint. This minimally invasive procedure allows your surgeon to see inside the joint and is effective in the early stages of arthritis.

·      Exercise & weight loss

·      Don’t rush injury recovery

·      Wear well-fitting shoes – Look for shoes that are comfortable, supportive, secure on your feet, and that have a synthetic or rubber sole for shock absorption. If you wear orthotic insoles, be sure to try the shoes on with the orthoses inside before deciding whether they’re right for you. Remember that your shoe size may change if your feet are affected by arthritis.

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