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When foot and ankle injuries develop into arthritis

06 August 2018

Surgery to reduce the symptoms of ankle arthritis can help you get back to doing what you love says Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Andrej Nikoloski.

What is ankle arthritis?

Ankle arthritis is a degenerative condition (which means it gets worse over time) that causes pain, swelling and reduces the range of movement in your ankle joint.

It often occurs when you have previously injured your ankle but can sometimes be the result of an auto-immune or other condition.

What treatment options are available?

Surgery to reduce the symptoms of ankle arthritis is an option. However, your first treatment options will most likely be non-invasive.

These include:

  • use of pain or anti-inflammatory medications
  • changing your activities to reduce impact on your ankle
  • use of orthotics or braces to help stabilise your ankle.

Your doctor will recommend the best treatment options for you.

Ankle surgery

Surgery on your ankle is an option that may be recommended if non-invasive treatment doesn’t work.

It is important to remember that your doctor will recommend the best surgical option to suit your needs and your lifestyle.

The two main ankle surgery options are:

  • joint-preserving surgery: such as arthroscopy or osteotomy for mild to moderate arthritis
  • joint-sacrificing surgery: including arthrodesis (ankle fusion) and replacement surgery in complex or severe cases.

Care for your ankle

Injuring your ankle does not automatically mean that you will develop arthritis, but it is important to be aware that arthritis can occur and can affect your mobility particularly as you age.

To enable you to continue doing everything you love as you get older, make sure you care for your ankles and rehabilitate any ankle injury appropriately. 

Mr Andrej Nikoloski - Orthopaedic Surgeon - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Mr Nikoloski is an orthopaedic surgeon at St John of God Mt Lawley and Midland hospitals who specialises in foot and ankle surgery and trauma. He also performs knee joint replacement and knee arthroscopy. After graduating from Perth Modern School in Subiaco, Mr Nikoloski obtained his medical degree at the University of WA in 2003. He completed his orthopaedic training in 2014 and subsequently did an AOA accredited foot and ankle fellowship at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.