Ankle arthritis is due to two differing problems. The first is due to acute sprain due to trauma to the rear foot which results in a dislocation or fracture of the rear foot. This in some case requires surgery.
The second cause is degeneration of cartilage due to abnormal wear and tear or chronic abnormal motion of the rear foot.
Conservative therapy includes: physical therapy, injection, orthotic and bracing. In most cases a period of relief may be available with conservative care. However, the arthritic process will continue to get worse and, in most cases, surgical correction is often required. In cases of mild to moderate arthritis arthroscopic surgery can be done with rapid.
In cases of severe arthritis, a fusion of the ankle is required to relieve pain. Most patients do well after after surgical fusions of the ankle joint. Other new surgical technique such as total ankle replacement is a option also but implants are not well designed yet, in the next decade this may change.