August 01, 2017
Options for pain relief
About 40 years ago, you injured your ankle while trying to stomp a shovel into some frozen ground. The injury was painful but eventually seemed to heal on its own. Lately, though, that ankle has been increasingly painful, especially when you walk on uneven ground. In fact, you're avoiding walking whenever possible because of the pain.
Your doctor says arthritis is affecting your ankle now. Ankle injury is the most common trigger for the development of ankle arthritis later in life. While you can't change past injuries, a number of treatments exist that can reduce or eliminate pain and keep you on your feet.
Joints and cartilage
With every step, the ankle joint absorbs about five times your body weight per square inch. This is a greater force than is exerted on any other joint. When you run or jump, the force exerted on each ankle joint is even greater. In addition, your ankle joint is more likely than any other joint in your body to become injured. Usually it's just a sprain, but sometimes it's worse.
You're much less likely to develop arthritis in your ankle joint than in other joints, such as those of your hips and knees. Yet, when ankle arthritis does develop, it can cause severe pain and disability.
Damage to cartilage is one of the main characteristics of arthritis, a disease of the joints that can be caused by numerous factors. The main categories of arthritis that affect the ankle include:
osteoarthritis — This is the most common kind. It typically develops as a
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