Ankle cartilage disorders can significantly affect your mobility and quality of life, causing pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. At Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, board-certified orthopedic surgeons Pedro E. Cosculluela, MD, and Andrew M. Ebert, MD specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Don’t wait to seek professional care for ankle cartilage disorders. Call Austin Foot & Ankle Institute today in Austin, Lakway and Cedar Park, Texas or schedule an appointment online to receive comprehensive care.
Ankle cartilage disorders affect the smooth, flexible tissue that covers the ends of the bones that form the ankle joint. Cartilage protects and cushions joints, ensuring that two connecting bones can glide smoothly against one another without causing pain.
Without healthy cartilage, friction can develop between the connecting bones in the ankle, leading to pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion.
There are multiple types of ankle cartilage disorders, including:
Osteoarthritis causes the soft cartilage in the ankle to deteriorate. Cartilage is a flexible material that cushions and protects the joints. When this cartilage breaks down, the ankle can become stiff and painful and lose its range of motion.
Post-traumatic arthritis develops after a severe injury, such as an ankle fracture. The trauma permanently damages the cartilage, leading to pain and discomfort.
Osteochondritis dissecans is a painful condition where the bone and cartilage separate, causing the bones in the ankle to lose their blood supply. It can happen at any age but is most common among children and adolescents.
Charcot arthropathy is a foot and ankle abnormality that occurs when injuries go unnoticed. It’s most common in people with diabetes. It causes nerve damage that can reduce sensation. If you can’t feel pain from a fracture or sprain, you may not seek professional care. Over time, the injury can cause Charcot arthropathy.
Diagnosing ankle cartilage disorders typically involves a combination of physical exams, reviews of your medical and family history, and imaging scans. Along with X-rays, your doctor may order magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone scans to determine the severity of your condition.
The treatment for ankle cartilage disorders may vary depending on the severity of the injury. Your personalized treatment plan at Austin Foot & Ankle Institute may include:
If your condition doesn’t resolve or worsens with nonsurgical interventions, your provider can perform surgery to remove or repair the damaged cartilage.
Ankle cartilage disorders can destabilize your ankle joint and increase your risk of injury. Call Austin Foot & Ankle Institute today or schedule an appointment online to protect your ankles and preserve your foot function.