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How to manage post-traumatic arthritis in your ankle

Post Traumatic Arthritis Ankle
3 minutes, 21 seconds

Post-traumatic arthritis is one of several different subtypes of arthritis. It is a disease that creates inflammation in the joints, making it painful to use the affected joints. This specific type of arthritis results from a traumatic injury to a joint in the body and starts fairly soon after the injury occurs. It affects nearly 5 million people in the U.S. each year.

Fortunately, this arthritis is usually temporary, but it may become chronic in some instances. For those who experience post-traumatic arthritis in their ankles, the effects usually only last for several months. It can typically be addressed with the same recovery treatment for the injury that caused it in the first place.

If you’ve suddenly developed post-traumatic arthritis in your ankle, you may be in some pain or discomfort for a few months. Even if your condition does improve, you may want to consider learning how to manage your symptoms for improved comfort. Read on to learn how you can effectively manage your symptoms.

What are some of the injuries that could cause post-traumatic arthritis in the ankle?

  • Bone fractures or breaks — Bone fractures or full bone breaks in the ankle or feet are a type of injury that can lead to post-traumatic arthritis in the ankle.
  • Dislocations — Ankle dislocations are another type of injury that can result in post-traumatic arthritis.

What are some ways that you can manage post-traumatic arthritis in your ankle?

  • Physical therapy — Physical therapy is efficient for dealing with your arthritis for several reasons. It can reduce inflammation, build support around the joints, improve mobility and reduce discomfort. Physical therapists are specially qualified to treat arthritis in your ankle and help you work toward your unique health goals. You can speak with a PT specialist to figure out what you’d like to accomplish during your physical therapy sessions and they’ll create a treatment plan that is personalized to you. There are several different movements and exercises that a physical therapist can guide you through to build strength and improve the range of motion in your ankle and moderate your symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication — Anti-inflammatory medication can be used to help manage post-traumatic arthritis in your ankle. By reducing some of the inflammation, medication may be able to help you relieve some of your discomfort.
  • Regular movement — If you have arthritis, one of the worst things you can do for your symptoms is to not move for extended periods. Sitting in a chair or lying down for several hours of the day is more likely to make your stiffness and pain worse. You should be sure to incorporate regular movement and exercise into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean you have to do intense workouts every day; rather, take a walk down the street each day or swim at the pool a few times a week. You just want to keep your ankle joints from getting stiff from lack of movement.
  • Corticosteroid injections — Another option to manage post-traumatic arthritis in your ankle is corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroids are a type of drug that can be injected into the body to help with inflammation. It can be effective at reducing inflammation and pain in several areas of the body, including the ankle. For those who have post-traumatic arthritis, getting a corticosteroid shot may help temporarily relieve some of that pain and inflammation. However, steroid shots may not be effective in the long term and may require more than one round of injections.
  • Heat and ice packs — Since arthritis is an inflammatory disease, a primary way to manage your symptoms is by reducing inflammation. You can use heat or ice to help reduce some of the inflammation that occurs in the joints, which may help reduce pain and stiffness.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for post-traumatic arthritis in your ankle

Are you dealing with arthritis pain? At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your post-traumatic stress in your ankle. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


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