Ankle arthrosis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, stage of the disease and treatment

The older a person is, the higher the risk of degenerative and destructive changes, especially in the work of the musculoskeletal system. Arthrosis of the ankle joint is a disease that affects the cartilage and articulatory tissue in varying degrees of severity, and if left untreated, it can lead to deformity. With the early development of pathology, the symptoms of the disease can not be well expressed, and its presence can be determined only with the help of X-rays.

What is ankle arthrosis

The disease, in which the articular cartilage and surrounding tissue is gradually destroyed, is called ankle arthrosis. The basis of the pathology is a degenerative-dystrophic process, and inflammation is secondary. Ankle arthrosis has a chronic wavy course, with alternating exacerbations and reductions. The disease gradually develops. The female and male populations experience similar arthrosis. With increasing age, the likelihood of developing pathology increases dramatically.


Ankle joint disease is periodically increasing. During remission of arthrosis, symptoms may not appear at all. Pathology develops without escaping. A person feels moderate pain in the ankle with significant physical exercise, increased stiffness and leg fatigue. With the development of pathology, the pain becomes more pronounced, arises at rest and intensifies at night.

When a joint deformity is visible, the distance of movement at the ankle is reduced, and when walking, irritation sounds and clicking sounds are heard. Sometimes there is curvature of the lower leg, the foot acquires the shape of a valgus (X-shaped) or varus (O-shaped). For ankle arthrosis, onset pain is characteristic, which is manifested at the onset of movement after a state of rest and disappears during walking.

leg pain with ankle arthrosis

The cause of its occurrence

Ankle arthrosis is divided into two groups: primary and secondary. The first arises for unknown reasons. The latter develops due to adverse factors: inflammation, trauma, etc. In both cases, the pathology is based on metabolic disorders in cartilage tissue. The main causes of the development of secondary arthrosis:

  • bone deformities (fractures) or damage to ligaments due to ankle injuries;
  • joint capsule stretching;
  • pinching the nerve endings of the lumbar spine;
  • overweight;
  • wearing uncomfortable shoes;
  • prolonged load on the joints (intense sports, fixed position);
  • diseases associated with metabolic disorders (gout, diabetes mellitus, estrogen deficiency during menopause, etc. );
  • intervertebral hernia, lumbar spine osteochondrosis and other conditions, accompanied by disorders of the lower limbs, muscular apparatus or nerve traps.
obesity as a cause of ankle arthrosis

The stage of the disease

With ankle arthrosis, three degrees are distinguished, which are determined by hardware diagnostics:

  • I degree - pathological changes are not visible, there is narrowing of the ankle joint cleft, talus compaction;
  • Stage II - swelling as a result of the development of the disease, painful sensations appear in the weather, decreased leg movements, joint deformities are observed;
  • III degree - there is a loss of the amortization properties of the joints, oxidation of cartilage tissue, deformation of the foot causes deformity.
foot deformity with ankle arthrosis

Possible consequences

A patient with ankle arthrosis may be assigned a deformity, as complete destruction of the joint results in limitation of motor activity. For this, the patient needs to undergo a medical examination. Categories of patients who can be assigned a disability:

  • patients with progressive arthrosis who have been ill for more than 3 years with an increase in disease of at least 3 times / year;
  • patients who have undergone surgery on a joint and have a life limit;
  • patients with severe static-dynamic functional disorders.


The diagnosis of "stage 2 arthrosis of the ankle joint" (or other stage) is made based on a survey, visual examination and laboratory results. X-rays play a decisive role. At the most advanced stage, deformed osteoarthritis and cyst formation in the bone area are detected. In difficult cases, patients are referred for a CT scan of the ankle for a more accurate assessment of bone structure. An MRI of the ankle can be done to examine soft tissue.

MRI for ankle arthrosis

Treatment of ankle arthrosis

Therapy of affected joints in post-traumatic arthrosis is carried out according to a general scheme. Comprehensive treatment includes:

  • elimination of pain symptoms;
  • elimination of inflammatory processes;
  • restoration of joint mobility;
  • increased trophic processes;
  • restoration of normal blood circulation in the limbs:
  • joint replacement with an artificial prosthesis (if necessary).


Drug therapy is chosen taking into account the symptoms of the disease and the stage of the disease. During periods of exacerbation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used in the form of tablets or injections. Along with them, it is recommended to take local anesthetic drugs in the form of gels or ointments. With a significant pain sensation, corticosteroid medications are prescribed for intra-articular obstruction. Their introduction is done no more than 4 times / year. To normalize metabolism in cartilage tissue, drugs of the chondroprotective group are prescribed.


Topical medications will not be able to cure arthrosis or crusarthrosis of the ankle, but will help speed recovery and prevent recurrence of the disease. Among the effective drugs are:

  1. Multicomponent homeopathic ointment aimed at treating inflammatory conditions and dystrophy of the musculoskeletal system. Apply 1-3 times / day with a thin layer on the affected area. The course duration is 2-4 weeks. Rarely, local skin reactions occur: urticaria, burning, itching, development of dermatitis.
  2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with analgesic effect. Apply in small doses on the affected joints 3 times / day. The doctor prescribes the course of treatment individually. On average, such an ointment is applied until the pain disappears, but not more than 14 days in a row.


The following physiotherapeutic methods will help delay ankle arthrosis:

  1. Simple wave ultraviolet irradiation. Under the influence of ultraviolet waves in the affected area, there is an accumulation of substances that reduce the sensitivity of nerve endings, which makes it possible to quickly get rid of the pain syndrome.
  2. Infrared laser therapy. Lasers reduce the sensitivity of nerve roots, improve the circulatory process. The procedure frees the patient from the stress incurred due to persistent pain in the ankle.


For inflammatory diseases of the knee joint, bone tissue and articular ligaments of the ankle, a special diet is indicated. You should include jelly, meat jelly and edible agar in food, as these products are natural chondroprotectors that restore cartilage tissue. Complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, whole wheat bread), milk protein (cottage cheese, cheese), vitamin and mineral complexes must be on the menu. For better assimilation of food, food must be steamed or boiled.

Physical training

After examining the X-rays, the doctor may prescribe the implementation of therapeutic exercises. Special exercises for the ankles will help relieve pain, relieve muscle tension, and restore blood circulation. Examples of exercise therapy exercises:

  • sitting on a chair, stockings and heels alternately down from the floor;
  • toes lying on the floor, heels up and making circular movements;
  • legs united, legs stretched to the body part.
exercises for ankle arthrosis


Procedures for ankle arthrosis are distinguished by multiple and multi -stage techniques. The purpose of the massage is to improve the circulation of lymph and blood to the leg muscles of the joint cavity, to eliminate weak ankle movements. To relax the muscles, massage the ankles first using kneading and caressing techniques. Then the toes are massaged, then the feet and heels are kneaded. Complete the procedure by working the ankle joint deeply.

massage for the treatment of ankle arthrosis


If conservative arthrosis therapy does not bring positive results, the treating physician prescribes surgical treatment. Among the methods of operation considered the best:

  1. Ankle endoprosthetics. Ultra -modern ceramic or metal prostheses are partially or completely replaced at the site of cartilage destruction.
  2. Arthrodesis of the ankle. It is prescribed for severe articular surface destruction. During surgery, the bone is firmly attached through its internal connections.
ankle arthrosis surgery

Traditional methods

Village recipes help complex therapy of ankle joints for arthrosis:

  1. Lime and kefir. Blend both ingredients into a paste. Apply this mixture on sore joints at night to relieve swelling.
  2. Butter root and cinquefoil. In a 10: 1 ratio, mix the ingredients and rub into sore joints overnight to relieve pain.

Prevention of ankle arthrosis

To reduce the risk of ankle arthrosis, it is necessary to adhere to preventive measures, which include:

  • weight control;
  • proper nutrition;
  • wear comfortable shoes without high heels;
  • prevent joint injuries;
  • timely treatment of endocrine and vascular diseases;
  • regular gymnastic performances for the ankles.
gymnastics for the ankle for the prevention of arthrosis

Photo of ankle arthrosis

specialist examination for ankle arthrosispain in ankle arthrosisankle arthrosisswelling of the ankle with arthrosis