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Ankle Cartilage Disorders

Ankle Cartilage Disorders

Ankle Cartilage Disorders services offered in Austin, Lakeway and Cedar Park, TX

Ankle cartilage disorders can significantly affect your mobility and quality of life, causing pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. At Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Pedro E. Cosculluela, MD specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Don’t wait to seek professional care for ankle cartilage disorders. Call Austin Foot & Ankle Institute today in Austin and Bee Cave, Texas or schedule an appointment online to receive comprehensive care.

Ankle Cartilage Disorders Q & A

What are ankle cartilage disorders?

Ankle cartilage disorders affect the smooth, flexible tissue that covers the ends of the bones that form the ankle joint. Cartilage protects and cushions joints, ensuring that two connecting bones can glide smoothly against one another without causing pain. 

Without healthy cartilage, friction can develop between the connecting bones in the ankle, leading to pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion.

Are there different types of ankle cartilage disorders?

There are multiple types of ankle cartilage disorders, including:


Osteoarthritis causes the soft cartilage in the ankle to deteriorate. Cartilage is a flexible material that cushions and protects the joints. When this cartilage breaks down, the ankle can become stiff and painful and lose its range of motion.

Post-traumatic arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis develops after a severe injury, such as an ankle fracture. The trauma permanently damages the cartilage, leading to pain and discomfort.

Osteochondritis dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans is a painful condition where the bone and cartilage separate, causing the bones in the ankle to lose their blood supply. It can happen at any age but is most common among children and adolescents.

Charcot arthropathy

Charcot arthropathy is a foot and ankle abnormality that occurs when injuries go unnoticed. It’s most common in people with diabetes. It causes nerve damage that can reduce sensation. If you can’t feel pain from a fracture or sprain, you may not seek professional care. Over time, the injury can cause Charcot arthropathy.

How are ankle cartilage disorders diagnosed?

Diagnosing ankle cartilage disorders typically involves a combination of physical exams, reviews of your medical and family history, and imaging scans. Along with X-rays, your doctor may order magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone scans to determine the severity of your condition.

How are ankle cartilage disorders treated?

The treatment for ankle cartilage disorders may vary depending on the severity of the injury. Your personalized treatment plan at Austin Foot & Ankle Institute may include:

  • R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  • Immobilization (bracing or casting)
  • Antiinflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom-made orthotics

If your condition doesn’t resolve or worsens with nonsurgical interventions, your provider can perform surgery to remove or repair the damaged cartilage.

Ankle cartilage disorders can destabilize your ankle joint and increase your risk of injury. Call Austin Foot & Ankle Institute today or schedule an appointment online to protect your ankles and preserve your foot function.

In addition to performing a thorough history and physical examination, we will obtain new radiographs of the foot and/or ankle during your visit. If radiographs have already been done, our physicians will review those radiographs and any additional studies - MRI, CT, bone scans, etc - that are available through our PACS access to local facilities. We also offer durable medical equipment - braces, boots, OTC casts - at the office. We have relationships with local orthotic and prosthetic shops for those who need more specialized bracing and orthotic care. Additional services include diagnostic and therapeutic injections with steroids, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and other stem cell preparations.