About Ankle Osteoarthritis (OA)

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Ankle Osteoarthritis (OA)?

Ankle Osteoarthritis (OA) is a clinical condition in which the joint that connects the foot to the leg, known as the tibiotalar or ankle joint, has damaged or worn out cartilage. There are three bones involved in this joint: the tibia, the fibula and the talus. The arthritis can involve any or all of these bones.

Common Causes:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • A family history of the disease

Symptoms of Ankle Osteoarthritis may include:

  • Pain with motion
  • Pain that flares up with vigorous activity
  • Tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint
  • Joint swelling, warmth, and redness
  • Increased pain and swelling in the morning, or after sitting or resting
  • Difficulty in walking due to any of the above symptoms

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms seek treatment by making an appointment with Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) foot and ankle specialist.

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of foot and ankle specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing an Ankle Osteoarthritis, the OPA specialist will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays, CT scan, or MRI

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat most partial Achilles tendon tears. A combination of treatment options are included in an OPA specialist’s patient-customized treatment plan:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Over-the-counter and prescription medications that decrease OA inflammation and pain.

Activity Modification

Slowing down or stopping activities that cause symptoms, losing weight, smoking cessation, walking with a brace, walker, or cane.

Physical Therapy

Exercises increase ankle strength, flexibility, and function. OPA approved physical therapists prescribe and monitor exercises.

The OPA Foot specialist may recommend surgery if your pain causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical treatment. The type of surgery will depend on the type and location of arthritis and the impact of the disease on your joints. In some cases, the OPA foot specialist may recommend more than one type of surgery.

Arthroscopic debridement. This surgery may be helpful in the early stages of arthritis. Debridement (cleansing) is a procedure to remove loose cartilage, inflamed synovial tissue, and bone spurs from around the joint.
Arthrodesis (fusion). Arthrodesis fuses the bones of the joint completely, making one continuous bone out of two or more bones. The goal of the procedure is to reduce pain by eliminating motion in the arthritic joint.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle Specialists are experts in diagnosing and ankle osteoarthritis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, contact our office to schedule an appointment in Anchorage or Wasilla, AK.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Foot & Ankle Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Eugene Chang, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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