I was recently diagnosed with early-stage post-traumatic arthritis of the ankle (at the grand old age of 26).
This is following a motorcycle accident five years ago which resulted in a comminuted fracture of the tibia which was treated using an external fixator and internal screws. The x-ray shows the initial signs of joint space narrowing anteriorally medially. The range of motion in the joint is *almost* normal and there is no stiffness or problems in that regard, at the moment I simply experience mild pain/discomfort with activity. I am very active (weightlifting, martial arts, spin classes, hiking, paintballing etc) and have only started to show regular symptoms in the last six months or so.
As it was explained to me, what's happened to my joint is that the tibia has healed at an angle which is putting pressure on the front of the ankle. To look at, it's sort of pointing straight down whereas the uninjured leg slopes inwards towards the ankle joint.
My own research suggests that I could be the ideal candidate for a low tibial osteotomy. According to the following study, it looks like it may even provide a cure: http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/foot-ankle/news/online/%7B7D6A59B9-530D-450C-A7A3-535C6B0088A0%7D/Low-tibial-osteotomy-alone-proves-successful-for-ankles-with-specific-varus-type-OA
This was never mentioned to me at the hospital, and information on this procedure is severely limited. I would appreciate it if anyone could shed some light on this for me, or would know anyone who I could discuss this with.