Osteoarthritis of the ankle is a disease different from the most known one affecting the joints of the knee and hip. And, in 80% of cases, it is of post-traumatic nature.

It’s clear that anyone can suffer an injury and that this unfortunate event can occur at any time in our lives, with higher probability during the most active phases of our existence. This is why osteoarthritis of the ankle has a significant impact on very young patients too.
Accidents are some of the most common traumas that lead to osteoarthritis: usually motorcycle accidents.
These unfortunate patients are often treated surgically, because of the importance of their fractures, and are subjected to reduction and synthesis operations in an attempt to restore the correct anatomy of the ankle.
So, as mentioned before, these patients are clearly distinguishable from the patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. In the latter case, it’s old age that causes the degeneration and wear of the joint and the onset of an arthritic condition.
The patient who suffers from osteoarthritis of the ankle is a patient who seeks a reliable and durable solution that might be compatible with his young age and lifestyle. They’re also people who have tried to live with and tolerate pain. Pain that grew over time, compromising the quality of their lives and limiting them in their work and hobbies.

Given its genesis, osteoarthritis of the ankle is still today a less known disease about which there are debates on what is the ideal treatment to follow.
A large number of patients visit orthopedic surgeons after collecting more or less fragmented – and, alas, often not correct – information here and there on the Internet. But one thing they have in common for sure: they ask whether you’d recommend prosthesis or arthrodesis.

I’ll try to clarify the point.
In the past, a fear that the wear of the prosthesis could, with time, expose young patients to revision surgeries, left more space for the surgical choice of arthrodesis. But today we know that even arthrodesis cannot be considered a unique and definitive operation, as it exposes other foot joints to important excess loads, generating in turn osteoarthritis and pain and making necessary subsequent operations.

My advice is of course not to trust any source of information, but visit an experienced and knowledgeable specialist, who can decide the type of operation. Aware of the fact that osteoarthritis of the ankle presents a challenge that today we can definitely win.