Ankle arthritis is an inflammation of the ankle. The main symptoms of arthritis are ankle pain and stiffness which worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Ankle fusion is the surgical removal of the cartilage portion of the joint and diseased bone and fusing (growing) of the bones together into one unit. Good cartilage normally forms the joint and allows for essentially pain free motion between bones. Damaged and/or diseased cartilage can allow some motion but this motion can be quite painful and disabling.
There are also some congenital deformities that may need fusion and neuromuscular disease that create unstable painful ankle joints. Ankle joint instability after severe or chronic ligament tears may lead to chronic pain. Occasionally the bone in the ankle can lose its blood supply and die internally in a condition known as avascular necrosis; this is usually secondary to trauma. A severe form of arthritic destruction known as Charcot arthropathy (joint disease) which is secondary to the nerve damage of neuropathy (nerve disease) can also be a causative condition.
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