Arthritis is a common issue that can affect practically any joint in the body. Ankle arthritis refers to arthritic damage and symptoms in the ankle joint. People who suffer from ankle arthritis experience limited range of motion, pain, stiffness, weakness, and mobility problems in the ankle.
If this applies to you, you can find relief with the help of a podiatrist, or foot and ankle doctor. How can a podiatrist treat arthritis in your ankle? Let’s discuss!
In cases arthritis pain, a podiatrist may advise you to take over-the-counter analgesics to reduce your pain. When over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t enough, your foot and ankle specialist may recommend a prescription analgesic to manage your pain and inflammation. Your physician will consider your medical history and overall health when deciding on a prescription medication for you.
Heat and Cold Therapies
When you visit a foot doctor for ankle arthritis, they may recommend heat or cold therapy to relieve symptoms. Your practitioner will advise you to use heat to ease stiffness and cold therapy to decrease swelling. Both therapies are not recommended for every patient, however, so it is important to check with your doctor on which therapy will work best for you.
Your practitioner may recommend that you undergo physical therapy. This will consist of a specialist guiding you through exercises that work the muscles and surrounding tissue in the ankle joint. These exercises strengthen and stretch the area to maintain or enhance range of motion. In addition to therapy in the office, your practitioner will recommend exercises you can do at home to optimize your results.
Your foot and ankle doctor may fit you for custom orthotics. The orthotics reduce the stress felt by your ankles, which can decrease pain. Instead of buying drugstore orthotics, it is best to get custom ones through your podiatrist, because they are specifically made for your feet and offer much better results.
Sometimes, a foot and ankle specialist will size you for an ankle brace. An ankle brace keeps your ankle in place as you walk. It provides stability and support, which can reduce your risk of falling and decrease your pain. Your specialist will size it to your ankle and foot, so it’s comfortable and you receive the maximum benefit from it.
If you’re overweight, the joints below your waist, including your ankles, must take on added pressure. This can exacerbate your pain symptoms. Therefore, your doctor may recommend weight management to reduce the pressure on your ankles. As a result, you will experience a significant reduction in pain.
Your doctor might recommend steroid injections given in the ankle to alleviate inflammation and pain. Since the effects of steroid injections are short-term, you may need to receive injections multiple times per year to combat the pain. However, to reduce the possibility of complications from steroids, your doctor will limit the number you can receive to three or four per year.
Treatment for Ankle Arthritis from a West Orange, NJ Foot and Ankle Specialist
An ankle doctor can offer a variety of treatments to help you effectively manage arthritis pain and maintain joint mobility. Our practitioners are not only experts in their specialty but are also experts in providing you with the optimal patient experience. We believe that patients deserve respect and compassion, and that’s what you get every time you walk through our door.
Find treatment for ankle arthritis with the help of a skilled and knowledgeable foot and ankle specialist by calling Hudson MD Group, serving West Orange and the surrounding areas. Call us at (973) 705-4914, or you may also use our online form to request an appointment.