Features January 2010 Issue

An Old Injury May Be the Cause of Foot, Ankle Arthritis

Two-thirds of arthritis-related foot and ankle problems result from damage that may have occurred months or years earlier.

If you’ve suffered a serious ankle injury, even if it happened years ago, and if you’re an older adult, "you’re at greater risk for developing osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle," says James Sferra, M.D., an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. "The older you get, the greater the risk, and more of these conditions will be seen as the population ages." Foot and ankle arthritis does not get the attention that knee, hip, or shoulder arthritis seem to get, but it is a condition that affects a significant portion of the population and one that can be managed, although not necessarily avoided.

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