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How do symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis develop?

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The symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis can show up months or even years after you were injured. They can get worse over time, but how fast or slowly varies.

You get pain and other problems because the cartilage in your joint thins or wears away.

Cartilage is the thick connective tissue at the end of bones. It protects them and allows them to move easily. If you don't have enough, your bones rub against each other, causing pain.

Because cartilage in the ankle is thicker than in other joints of the body, it takes longer to wear down. That may partially explain why this type of osteoarthritis doesn't happen as often as it does in other joints.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle," "Orthopaedics."

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: "Ankle Arthritis," "Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle."

CDC: "Arthritis."

Farshid Guilak, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

Matthew M. Roberts, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City.

University of Washington Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: "Ankle Arthritis."

Valderrabano, V. , July 2009. Clinical Orthopedics & Related Research

Reviewed by David Zelman on March 16, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle," "Orthopaedics."

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: "Ankle Arthritis," "Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle."

CDC: "Arthritis."

Farshid Guilak, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

Matthew M. Roberts, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City.

University of Washington Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: "Ankle Arthritis."

Valderrabano, V. , July 2009. Clinical Orthopedics & Related Research

Reviewed by David Zelman on March 16, 2017

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What questions will your doctor ask to diagnose ankle osteoarthritis?

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