When to Consider Joint Injections for Your Arthritis Pain

When to Consider Joint Injections for Your Arthritis Pain

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects just about any joint in your body. Your ankles are especially at risk, because of the wear-and-tear they see every day.

When your arthritis pain is ruling your life, you need to find a treatment that works. Joint injections are one of the many successful therapies you can try when others haven’t worked.

At Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, our team is ready to help you finally achieve pain relief from your arthritis. When you need a foot and ankle specialist for your arthritis, Dr. Jeffrey E. McAlister has the experience and knowledge to give you the best care for your pain.

Signs of ankle arthritis

Arthritis affects the joints in your body. There are many different forms of the disease, each causing damage to your joints. 

One of the most prevalent forms of arthritis as you get older is known as osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis causes damage to the cartilage in your joints, which wears it down over time and causes inflammation and pain.

The symptoms of arthritis vary, depending on how advanced the disease has become. In the early stages, you may not have many symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, you’ll likely start noticing signs, such as:

If you have any signs of arthritis, early treatment is key. The earlier you get diagnosed, the sooner you can start treatment to prevent the disease from getting worse.

When can joint injections help?

When ankle arthritis is the cause of your pain, there are many different treatments that Dr. McAlister can use to relieve your discomfort. Typically, conservative measures are the first line of therapy, and they include:

Sometimes, these measures are enough to calm down the inflammation and reduce your pain. But when your pain persists, even with conservative measures, Dr. McAlister suggests joint injections.

Injections in your joint help to relieve inflammation caused by arthritis, and in turn, reduce pain. They’re minimally invasive and can keep you from needing surgery, in some cases.

Regenerative medicine injections even have the ability to heal your joint from the inside. These injections often use your own cells to regenerate damaged cells and tissues, allowing your joint to heal over time.

Types of joint injections for arthritis

Dr. McAlister offers several types of injections when you have ankle arthritis. He discusses each injection with you, and determines which one is best for your specific symptoms. 

Each type of injection works in a different way to ease your discomfort in the joint. Three of the state-of-the-art injections Dr. McAlister recommends for ankle arthritis include:

1. Hyaluronic acid 

Hyaluronic acid is a thick, viscous fluid that’s found naturally in your joint. It helps to cushion your ankle, and provides lubrication in the joint. 

Hyaluronic acid is frequently broken down and replaced by your body, which is natural. However, when you have arthritis, the fluid is broken down more quickly and isn’t as effective at lubricating your joint.

This injection allows Dr. McAlister to provide your ankle joint with more of the substance to reduce friction and inflammation in your ankle.

2. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

PRP is a type of regenerative medicine that utilizes your own platelets to achieve a healthier joint. The platelets are one of the cell types in your bloodstream, and are the first to arrive when you have an injury.

Platelets contain important blood clotting factors, but they also have essential growth proteins and healing properties. 

PRP is an injection that requires a blood draw from your arm. The blood is then separated in a machine called a centrifuge, where the platelets become more concentrated in the plasma.

The platelets and plasma are then extracted, placed in a syringe, and injected into your joint. Although it takes some time to see results, your body is literally healing your ankle from the inside out.

3. Amniotic membrane allograft

This type of injection uses part of the amniotic membrane of the placenta. It’s taken from consenting mothers after they’ve delivered a healthy newborn by Cesarean section. The tissue is then cleaned and goes through rigorous testing to make sure it’s safe to use.

The amazing component of amniotic membrane allograft injections is that they contain potent growth factors, along with amino acids and other vital components that aid your body in healing naturally.

This type of injection does take several weeks to months to notice the effects, but your body effectively heals from within your joint.

If you’re looking for arthritis pain relief, call our team at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlister, or book an appointment online with him today.

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