Treatment of ankle joint arthritis in Germany
Ankle joint pain are constant under high stress. The body weight is directed at the joints while walking. This causes frequent inflammation in the joints, namely, arthritis. Arthritis develops in elderly people in 80% of cases. Illness leads to disability in 20% of cases.
Ankle joint arthritis – Diagnostics
Objective diagnostics of ankle joint arthritis includes revealing the exact cause of the inflammatory process and assessing the severity of functional disorders.
Several techniques are used for this purpose:
- Visualisation of the ankle tissues using radiography, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging
- Joint ultrasound, which determines the volume of the accumulated in the joint synovial fluid
- Special functional tests that determine the severity of the movement disorders
- Laboratory blood tests that determine the markers of the autoimmune inflammatory process
- Joint puncture, which allows taking the synovial fluid sample from the joint’s cavity for subsequent laboratory examination
- Detection of infections based on determining antibodies to the main pathogens in blood
The volume of diagnostic procedures is determined by the type of arthritis, as well as by the capabilities of the healthcare institution.
Modern German hospitals have all the necessary equipment and tools for comprehensive and qualitative diagnosis of ankle joint arthritis.
Best clinics for the ankle joint arthritis diagnostics in Germany:
Ankle joint arthritis – Treatment
Type of the ankle joint arthritis treatment depends on the severity of tissue changes and a cause of inflammation. There are 2 basic therapeutic approaches:
Conservative therapy includes medicines of various pharmacological groups that allow to exclude the further impact of the causative factor and reduce the severity of the inflammation. Physiotherapy, massage, therapeutic exercises, intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid are used, as well.
Surgical treatment is performed in different ways depending on the origin of the illness, its clinical course, degree of joint damage. Surgical treatment includes:
- Arthroscopy is done with the help of an arthroscope – the device, which is inserted into the joint, so a doctor can see the ankle joint from the inside. Fragments of bone and cartilaginous tissue, blood clots, salt deposits are removed under the control of an arthroscope. This reduces the symptoms. Nevertheless, in case of chronic disorders the effect will be temporary and will last for few years or less.
- Orthopedic endoprosthetics is a radical method of treatment, when an artificial prosthesis is implanted instead of the patient’s own ankle joint. The quality of modern prostheses is high, so the patient is able to retain working capacity.
Ankle joint arthritis – Innovative treatment
To date, many techniques for restoring the joint’s surface have been developed. These are high-tech methods, so they are not easily available everywhere. However, German hospitals offer such services for citizens of the country or medical tourists.
One of the effective therapies, which delays, and sometimes avoids arthroplasty of the ankle, is the transplantation of autologous chondrocytes. They are taken from the joint, and then are cultivated in the laboratory to increase their amount. Cartilage cells are placed on a 3D matrix, which will replace a defect of the cartilaginous tissue in the ankle joint afterwards.
Implantation of matrix-induced autologous chondrocytes requires two arthroscopic interventions: the first one is for the extraction of cartilaginous tissue, the second one is for the implantation of an autologous (own, genetically native) cartilage. The effect of the operation lasts for 5-10 years.
Best clinics for the ankle joint arthritis treatment in Germany:
Ankle joint arthritis – Rehabilitation
The patient spends the early postoperative period in a hospital. Rehabilitation begins almost at once. It lasts for 3-4 months. A qualitative rehabilitation program allows to reach the following results:
- To avoid complications
- To recover faster
- To restore completely the function of the operated limb or the spine
Rehabilitation is divided into the early and late one. The early rehabilitation lasts for 2 weeks. It is carried out in the hospital where the patient was operated. The epithelialization and healing of the wound occurs at this time.
The bone structures are healing during the next 3 months. During this period it is desirable to undergo a rehabilitation in the specialized clinic. It includes:
- Physiotherapeutic procedures and massage for blood circulation improvement and normalization of the muscle tone
- Improving muscular strength of the lower limbs
- Stabilization of posture and gait (they are often violated in people who used to adapt to their disease for a long time)
- Increasing the range of motion in the operated joint
In the course of rehabilitation, a person develops the correct stereotypes of walking and other actions, like lifting from a sitting or lying position, moving along the stairs, etc. Such healthcare professionals as rehabilitation specialists, kinesiotherapists, and physiotherapists help patients in these affairs.
Best clinics for orthopedic rehabilitation in Germany:
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova
Here you can find the cost of treatment for this disease at the German University Hospitals. Leave a request and we will provide a free consultation with a doctor and will start organizing the whole treatment process.
The program includes the following:
- Issuing of an invitation for getting a visa for treatment as quick as possible
- Fixing an appointment at a time convenient for you
- Preliminary organization of a comprehensive examination and discussion of the forthcoming treatment plan
- Arranging transfer from the airport to the hospital and back to the airport
- Provision of interpreting services and services of a personal medical coordinator
- If necessary, assistance in the organization of further surgical treatment
- Provision of a medical insurance against treatment complications covering up to 200,000 euro
- Preparation and translation of medical records and recommendations from the hospital
- Assistance in the subsequent communication with your attending physician, including consultations on repeated X-ray images through the unique medical document management system E-doc