Struggling with Ankle Arthritis? Consider Hyaluronic Acid Injections

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Struggling with Ankle Arthritis? Consider Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Your ankles are obviously a primary component of your ability to walk, run, and jump, making them essential to everyday activities. Because you use them so much, they're also prone to injury, wear-and-tear, and chronic conditions like arthritis.

Ankle arthritis varies in severity but can make walking down the street or climbing stairs at night difficult. The longer the condition goes without treatment, the more severe the symptoms.

At Manhattan Podiatry Group, our team understands ankle arthritis and offers various treatments to provide you with long-term relief.

Dr. Mark Sharobeem is our in-house podiatrist, offering hyaluronic acid injections and surgical treatments when you're dealing with painful arthritis.

Ankle arthritis facts

Ankle arthritis develops when the protective articular cartilage in the joint wears down, either from injury or normal wear-and-tear. The cartilage protects the bones and prevents them from touching or rubbing.

Normal wear-and-tear within the ankle joints is expected as you age. Still, when it causes pain, inflammation, and a reduction in everyday activities, it's a problem.

If you have ankle arthritis, it may cause stiffness and decreased range of motion in the joint. Pain typically comes and goes, but with severe forms of arthritis, it may remain constant.

Osteoarthritis is a prevalent form of arthritis that affects the ankle joints. It happens when the cartilage wears down. However, other forms of arthritis may also impact the ankles.

Arthritis is a chronic problem that, when severe, may cause disability, but plenty of treatments can help you find long-term relief.

What is hyaluronic acid?

An injection of synthetic hyaluronic acid is based on the viscous fluid within the joints. The goal is to lubricate the joint space, allowing it to move smoothly.

A typical joint has a large piece of cartilage that protects the bones and prevents them from rubbing on each other. Wear-and-tear injuries or other lifestyle factors cause the cartilage to wear away, allowing the bones to rub and inflammation to develop.

Osteoarthritis also leads to decreased hyaluronic acid in the ankle joint, which affects how the joint moves. With less lubrication, the joint remains inflamed and painful.

Hyaluronic acid injections mimic the natural joint lubrication, allowing it to move naturally without friction. Although it takes time for the hyaluronic acid to rebuild and improve function and pain, it's a great way to achieve months of arthritis relief.

Dr. Sharobeem may give you one hyaluronic acid injection or several over weeks, depending on the severity of your arthritis and pain level.

When will I get relief?

Everyone is different when it comes to symptom relief after a hyaluronic acid injection. The results depend highly on your adherence to post-procedure instructions and the severity of your arthritis.

You won't feel immediate relief after a hyaluronic acid injection; any relief you feel is likely from an anesthetic in the joint if Dr. Sharobeem used one. The actual relief comes within a few weeks of your injection.

Over the first couple of weeks, the hyaluronic acid decreases friction within the ankle joint — less friction results in reduced swelling, inflammation, and pain.

If you get relief within a few weeks of the injection, you can expect pain relief for up to six months. At that time, you may require repeat injections or opt for another procedure for more permanent results.

Not everyone gets long-term relief with hyaluronic acid injections, especially those with advanced ankle arthritis. If the treatment doesn't relieve your symptoms, Dr. Sharobeem discusses the next steps in treatment.

To find out if a hyaluronic acid injection is for you, call us today to make an appointment or request a consultation at our convenient locations in and around New York City (Downtown Manhattan, Gramercy Park, and Staten Island) and Manalapan, New Jersey, using our convenient online booking tool.