Throughout a person's’ life their ankle joint constantly experience tremendous load of the entire body weight. No wonder it is very susceptible to injuries, strains, displacements, and bruises, and this is only a small fraction of all problems that can happen to one of the most mobile joints throughout a human life.
Generally, any trauma leaves a trace. At a certain point an inflammatory process develops in the ankle, which can later lead to patient's disablement. Arthroses and arthritides are the most common diseases affecting this area. This is the reason why the treatment of the ankle joint requires immediate intensive care.
When a specialist diagnoses arthrosis or arthritis of the ankle joint, the treatment intensity primarily depends on how severe the disease is and how sharp the pain is. On the early stages a rheumatologist or an orthopedist offers their patients a conservative treatment:
- Medication therapy;
- Manual therapy;
The first step is to secure and immobilize the sick joint. It should be given time to rest: patient is recommended to minimize the load on the joint, lose weight, stick to a diet and to the basics of healthy eating. On the early stages of treatment it is better to refrain from long walks.
The next equally important step is to relieve pain and to neutralize the inflammation. Drugs like Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Spazmalgon, Solpadein, Peltalgin and others are the most effective analgesics that quickly eliminate pain. The analgesics in form of ointment and cream, such as Apizatron, Remesid, Fastum Gel and others, have proved to be very effective. Drugs like Ibuprofen, Ortofen and others will not only reduce pain, but also have anti-inflammatory effect.
Glycosaminoglycans, chondroprotectors are often used to restore the cartilage tissue, when treating the ankle joint.
One should not neglect the efficiency of physiotherapy procedures in treatment of the ankle joint diseases:
- Magnet therapy;
- Balneotherapy with hydrogen sulfide and radon baths;
- Hydro massage and therapeutic muds.
Physical activity and exercises play a particular role in the treatment of the ankle joint diseases. A special set of exercises allows you to retain the mobility of the joint for a longer time. Many specialists and chiropractors have developed a series of gymnastic exercises with and without special equipment to treat osteoarthritis and arthritis of the ankle joint. As a rule, these simple monotonous exercises do not cause pain, and usually should be done for several hours a day.
Orthopedists, surgeons and reumatologists insist that a patient should restrain from certain food: in other words doctors use diet to cure joint diseases. It is required not only to ease the strain of the joint: the smaller the weight of a patient, the more seldom occurs the disease; it is also useful to normalize the patient's overall condition. As many orthopedists claim, it is precisely the bad eating habits and disturbed water-salt balance that lead to increased salt deposits in joints. In these pathologies specialists recommend the following:
- Reduce salt consumption;
- Eliminate tomatoes, sorrel, pepper and spicy seasonings from ration;
- Patients are recommended eat more potassium containing food: dried apricots, bananas, jacket potatoes;
- Abundant drinking: at least 1.5-2 liters (0.4-0.5 gallons) of pure water a day.
The diet helps to cope with the swellings of tissues and reduces the inflammatory processes in joints.
Every person who was confronted with ankle diseases should understand that only contacting the doctors on the early stage and performing all the recommendations and regularity of curing courses can possibly restore the physical health and help to avoid operation and disability.
The osteoarthritis of ankle joint provokes changes in the cartilage tissues, causing it to lose its elasticity and cushioning effect. The cartilage becomes thin, which results in a patient complaining about distinctive crackling noise when moving, severe pain, reduce movability of the joint, and rapid foot fatigue.
People often look for the keywords "Osteoarthritis of Ankle Joint Treatment Forum" in search engines, but this is a serious chronic disease that can lead to the total destruction of a joint and can spread to neighboring joints. It requires a patient to directly contact a doctor.
DOA (deforming osteoarthritis) is a particularly dangerous form of arthrosis, which leads to a complete foot deformity as a result of cartilage ossification, proliferation of bone outgrowths, clamping of the joint nerves.
DOA of ankle joint is also treated using surgical intervention, which reduces the tissue ossification, removes excrescences that prevent the foot to move freely. It is also recommended to take cartilage protectors, which may partially accelerate the regeneration of cartilage tissues and their recovery. Periarteritis of ankle joint is also treated using cartilage protectors.
Bursitis is a disease that affects synovial bursa of a joint. The disease causes changes in its cells with subsequent cornification. The patient can find a small tumor, swelling or redness in the foot area, which are accompanied by pain that soothes during rest period. Over time bursitis reduces the mobility of the foot and can lead to its deformation.
In order to treat bursitis of ankle joints various kinds of therapy are used, but if they do not give visible results, the operation is assigned. The operation helps to eliminate the excrescence on the joint capsule, returning its size to normal. Rehabilitation period follows the procedure.
Tenosynovitis and synovitis often affect the foot joint. They cause an inflammation of synovial membrane which disturbs the secretion of synovial fluid. The fluid is produces in large volumes, provoking the enlargement of the foot, its swelling, and a strong temperature rise in the foot area. If patient tries to move the foot the pain increases, and pulsations occur.
Treatment of tenosynovitis of the ankle joint is based on the administration of anti-inflammatory non-steroid analgesics combined with physiotherapy (electrophoresis, magnetic therapy). It is also possible to use ointments, such as Fastumgel, Voltarengel, etc. The difficulty is that swelling also occurs in case of a gout, so it is not uncommon to delay the treatment in order to perform an accurate diagnosis.
Contracture of ankle joint, in other words, paralysis or paresis, is a phenomenon encountered in spinal patients suffering from osteochondrosis or paralysis. It can also often be provoked by past injuries of ligaments or joint muscles. The disease causes paralysis of the ankle joint, the inability to carry out axial motions (neither saggital nor flexing or extending).
These ankle joint diseases need comprehensive treatment. It consists of emergency measures that aim to remove the contractures and a long rehabilitation period, which always includes exercises.
If the contracture is of an extensor type, then the joint should first be carefully straightened, and only then bent. The treatment of the ankle joint contracture includes systematic exercises that strengthen muscles, ligaments, and normalize the blood and lymph circulation in the joint area. This allows to avoid muscle pinching and clamping.
The ganglia of ankle joint is a variety of cyst. It causes formation of a cavity without a membrane, which is filled with fluid. The ganglion cyst in a joint is formed using the tissue of the capsule membrane by the tendons of the foot joint. The main factors that may trigger the disease are: Inflammatory processes in tendons and synovial membrane, inflammation of a joint capsule. In this case, the patient can detect a significant enlargement of the foot, a swelling, soft to the touch when palpating, similar to an edema.
Synovial cyst of the ankle joint is treated using radical surgical intervention. This is useful when conservative therapy methods are ineffective. Using surgical intervention, the soft tissue is punctured removing the fluids and the cavity is filled with various medications to eliminate the risk of inflammation. Removal of the fluid in the ankle joint is an integral part of recovery. After the liquid has been removed, it is recommended to take a course of physiotherapy with warming and electrophoresis.
The treatment of ankle joint should be particularly intensive if arthritis has been diagnosed. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that provokes the degeneration of bone and cartilage tissue. As the disease progresses, the bone tissue grows increasingly, creating outgrowths, the opening of the joint channel where the nerves are located decreases, and the nerves are pinched.
As a result, the patient is suffering from severe, lingering or stabbing pain, that does not subside even in a resting state. Arthritis has periods of remission, but a number of factors can trigger an aggravation of the disease.
The treatment of the acute arthritis of the ankle joint primarily involves the admission of analgesics, after that one should directly contact a medical specialist and take a course of physiotherapy, massage and do special exercises.
Episodes of aggravation can be relieved, the disease again becomes chronic or even goes to remission.
In the event when joints are almost completely destroyed, usually it is the third stage of the disease and there is no hope of restoring the health of limbs using conservative methods, a specialist resorts to surgery.
Nowadays, there are several types of surgical interventions:
Arthroplasty is one of the most effective methods used to treat pathologies of the ankle. Partially destroyed cartilage is restored using the patient's own tissues or artificial substitutes. The joint is partially modeled or a gasket that replaces the cartilage tissue is used. Total arthroplasty is the replacement of the whole problem area by a prosthesis. It successfully replaces the natural joint and flawlessly performs its functions for several decades.
Arthrodesis is a surgical intervention that ensures a complete immobility of the joint, returning its weight-bearing capacity, removing painful feelings.
If your ankle is prone to frequent injury, you feel a periodic nagging pain in this area, see your doctor. The sooner you receive help from specialists, the more likely you will be able to keep your joint healthy with the help of conservative therapy.