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How Osteoarthritis Can Affect the Ankle

Tuesday, 17 October 2023 00:00

Osteoarthritis, or OA, which is often associated with aging and wear-and-tear, isn't limited to just the knees and hips. It can also affect the ankle joint, causing pain and mobility issues. Osteoarthritis in the ankle is a chronic condition that develops when the protective cartilage that cushions the bones begins to deteriorate. OA can occur at any time of life, but it is most common in older adults. Being overweight adds stress to your ankles and fat cells produce proteins that may make the condition worse. Any ankle injury, even one that happened years ago, can lead to osteoarthritis. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a reduced range of motion, which can significantly affect your daily life. Even simple tasks like walking and climbing stairs can become challenging. Several factors can contribute to ankle osteoarthritis, including previous injuries, genetics, and obesity. Treatment options include medication, physical therapy, orthotic devices, and in some cases, surgery. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and for that reason managing it requires a comprehensive approach to reduce pain and maintain mobility. It's suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist if you suspect osteoarthritis is affecting your ankles. 

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Robbi Young from Grand Haven Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.


  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Grand Haven, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
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