How is Ankle Osteoarthritis Treated?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, may help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.
Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, may help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.

There are many treatments that may be used for ankle osteoarthritis. Some of the most common include weight control, exercise, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. An individual may also use topical pain relievers and inflammation reducers for this condition. Sometimes a doctor may inject steroid medications into the affected joints to reduce inflammation, and therapy may help as well. Surgery is often reserved as a last resort.

Cortisone shots can benefit patients with painful, inflamed ankles and other joints.
Cortisone shots can benefit patients with painful, inflamed ankles and other joints.

One type of ankle osteoarthritis treatment is weight control. Carrying excess weight is one of the factors that contributes to the development of ankle osteoarthritis, as the extra weight put pressure on a person’s joints. Consuming a healthy, low-calorie diet and participating in exercise that does not aggravate the condition many prove helpful.

Losing weight, exercising and taking pain medication can help treat osteoarthritis.
Losing weight, exercising and taking pain medication can help treat osteoarthritis.

Medication may also be used as a type of ankle osteoarthritis treatment. For example, a patient may use OTC medications to relieve pain and reduce the joint inflammation that is typical with osteoarthritis. Often, patients take such pain relievers as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. In many cases, these OTC remedies are sufficient for pain relief, but a doctor may prescribe prescription medications when more potent drugs are necessary. Additionally, a doctor may periodically prescribe muscle relaxers for the treatment of ankle osteoarthritis.

Sometimes topical creams, lotions, and gels are used as ankle osteoarthritis treatments. For example, a patient may use an OTC topical pain reliever on his ankle, such as those that contain menthol, capsaicin, methyl salicylate, and salicin. Anti-inflammatory lotions and gels may help as well.

Steroid medications are also used for ankle osteoarthritis treatment. In such a case, the steroid medications are not usually taken by mouth. Instead, doctors inject them into the affected joints. The purpose of this is to reduce the patient’s pain and help him regain a better level of function.

Therapy is often used as a treatment for ankle osteoarthritis as well. This may involve a range of activities aimed at increasing mobility and strengthening the area. Therapists may also provide supportive devices to help relieve stress on the affected joints. Additionally, treatments such as warm soaks may help with this condition.

Surgery may prove helpful as an ankle osteoarthritis treatment as well. Among the most common surgeries are arthroscopic, fusion, and joint replacement. Arthroscopic surgery is often used for the removal of tissue and bone spurs, while fusion surgery may be used for fusing affected bones together. Joint replacement surgery may be used to put an artificial joint in the place of the ankle joint. Surgery is usually reserved for severe case that do not respond well to non-surgical treatments.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, may help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.
      By: atoss
      Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, may help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.
    • Cortisone shots can benefit patients with painful, inflamed ankles and other joints.
      By: maska82
      Cortisone shots can benefit patients with painful, inflamed ankles and other joints.
    • Losing weight, exercising and taking pain medication can help treat osteoarthritis.
      By: Antonioguillem
      Losing weight, exercising and taking pain medication can help treat osteoarthritis.