1. Conservative Management:
- Pain Medication: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical Therapy: Specific exercises can improve joint flexibility, strength, and stability, reducing symptoms.
- Assistive Devices: The use of braces, orthotic shoe inserts, or walking aids like canes can provide support and alleviate pressure on the ankle joint.
- Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on the ankle joint and relieve symptoms.
- Corticosteroids: Injecting corticosteroids into the ankle joint can provide temporary relief by reducing inflammation and pain.
- Hyaluronic Acid: This gel-like substance can be injected into the joint to provide lubrication and cushioning, improving mobility.
3. Ankle Arthroscopy:
- Arthroscopy involves inserting a small camera into the ankle joint to evaluate the extent of damage and perform minimally invasive procedures, such as removing loose cartilage or bone spurs.
4. Ankle Fusion (Arthrodesis):
- In cases of severe arthritis where other treatments have failed, ankle fusion may be considered. It involves surgically joining the bones of the ankle joint to eliminate movement and reduce pain. Although ankle fusion restricts motion, it can effectively relieve pain. Depending on severity, this can be performed via a keyhole(minimally invasive) approach.
5. Total Ankle Replacement (Arthroplasty):
- This surgical procedure involves replacing the damaged ankle joint with an artificial implant. Total ankle replacement aims to restore joint function and alleviate pain while preserving some degree of ankle motion.