Ankle Sprains Up Arthritis Risk
During the recent American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society meeting,researchers presented data that showed ankle sprains increase the risk ofosteoarthritis in the joint. The study proved that recurrent ankle sprains or ankle instabilityalone—without fracture—can cause arthritis, an issue that has long been debated.The findings were based on 268 patients with ankle arthritis.
Of the participants, 221 (82.5%) had a past fracture and 47 (17.5%) had previousankle instability with recurrent sprains but no fractures. The researchers discoveredthat it took longer for arthritis to develop in the patients with sprains, compared withthose with fractures—specifically, 22.5 years for the sprain group and 21 years for thefracture group. Researcher Victor Valderrabano, MD, said arthritis may be a result ofan ankle sprain because of lingering instability and more pressure at the surface ofthe joint. The researchers concluded that rigorous rehabilitation is necessary afterchronic ankle instability or strains to prevent the joint disease.