Osteoarthrosis of the ankle is very rare considering how much work our ankles do from day to day and how often they are injured.
Osteoarthrosis can occur as a result of normal wear and tear but also from chronic instability due to old injuries and from inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis.
When arthritis does occur after chronic instability or old injury, it can be incapacitating due to both pain and deformity. Pain is usually worse with weight-bearing but as it progresses and the ankle becomes more deformed, pain at rest is a problem.
Osteoarthrosis is usually diagnosed with a plain x-ray of the ankle but occasionally an MRI scan is requested.
Sometimes the synovitis can be treated by an arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) to remove the inflamed lining of the joint or perhaps some loose bodies which may be trapped between the joint surfaces. Generally, when the pain is troublesome enough, it is treated by an ankle joint fusion (arthrodesis). Although this stiffens the joint it also reliably relieves the pain.