Screeching cat, howling wolf, screaming woman—and who can forget the stereotypical creaking door noise that we know so well from those classic horror movies? In fact, we might be desensitized to it. However, when that noise is coming from your ankle, it can still sound scary. If you have aching, creaking joints, you may have ankle arthritis.

Creaky joints can be scary. Learn how to handle arthritis pain.

A Monster Joint Problem

Ankle arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joint between the shin and ankle bone. Commonly, it happens when the cartilage, the tissue connected to the ends of the bones in the joint, breaks down over time. This is generally referred to as osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis.

However, another type of arthritis, known as rheumatoid, can also be found in your ankle. This type of inflammation is caused by a disease where your immune system attacks your joints. This can also damage the cartilage significantly and require treatment.

Whodunnit? Or, Whatdunnit?

When this conditions appears, it’s usually the result of a previous injury in the ankle like a broken bone or a severe sprain. Since it’s degenerative over time, it’s also found in the elderly. However, genetics can be a cause of your pain, too. Just like you have your mother’s eyes and your father’s nose, you can also inherit your parents’ foot structure.

People with flat feet and high arches can both capitulate to this condition faster than those who may have a more normal foot type. When your foot is flat, the instability of the ligaments puts more pressure on the joints, which means they can wear out faster. In the case of high arches, the lessened mobility of the rigid arch can jam the joints together and damage them.

Stiff, Creaking Symptoms

When this problem attacks your ankle, inflammation, swelling, and discomfort are common symptoms. Eventually, the prolonged pain can result in deformity and loss of function in the joint. Stiffness can create an inability to move the joint. Some people develop a bone spur around the area, too. For those reasons, people may have a hard time walking or doing any sort of high-impact activity without pain.

Our Antidote for You

Once we diagnose your condition, we may suggest that you try oral anti-inflammatory medications. We can also provide you with custom orthotics and a brace or cast to keep your foot immobilized to reduce pain and speed healing. A more progressive treatment plan would include steroid injections and physical therapy. 

At McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group, we can assist you in all types of foot and ankle surgery, including procedures for ankle arthritis. Of course, we will always exhaust conservative treatments before we talk about surgical procedures. You can trust that our recommendations come from an honest assessment of your condition.

Don’t Be Afraid to Wear Good Shoes

Shoes can help treat and prevent further pain. Buy a shoe with a lot of cushioning to lessen the impact that your joints receive when you walk, stand, or run. As far as your activity goes, try to avoid high-impact sports and activities like running and jumping.

When you need further treatment for your ankle arthritis that includes more than just a change of shoes, call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA, at (916) 961-3434. Our office serves Carmichael, Roseville, Fair Oaks, Rocklin, and the greater Sacramento area. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Photo Credit: CC0 Public Domain

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