The ankle, or talocrural joint, is a synovial hinge joint that connects the distal ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower limb with the proximal end of the talus bone in the foot. The articulation between the tibia and the talus bears more weight than between the smaller fibula and the talus.
September’s “Joint of the Month” Award goes to my ankles!
My ankles have taken a beating this past month, so they deserve a little extra recognition for all of the support they provide me. My left ankle has taken a double beating during the past few weeks – on top of the normal pain and inflammation (ah, “normal pain and inflammation” sounds so simple, no?) that results from my rheumatoid arthritis, my left ankle has yet to fully recover from some muscle damage that took place when my left sciatica nerve got inflamed a few weeks ago – all the way down to the ankle!
Sometimes the limp in my left ankle is barely noticeable, and at other times it is very pronounced. It usually depends upon how much time I have spent standing. My left ankle still does its best, although at times it is obvious that is cannot support its normal weight load.
Which brings in my right ankle. When the right ankle sees the left ankle struggling, he usually tries to pitch in and pick up some of the slack…which means he is bearing more than what he is used to. He has a strong personality, but when he overdoes it he too begins to not move correctly.
So I try to give both ankles the most possible support by using crutches as often as possible…but the reality of the matter is that even with crutches, my ankles are still bearing quite a bit of weight with every step I take. In the past, when the pain got so bad, I used to stop walking in the hopes that this would allow my ankles to heal. Oddly enough, they just seemed to get worse. I now recognize the importance of moving my ankles and other joints in the body each and every day, no matter how much they are hurting.
I am once again at a point where I have to limit my walking to around ten minutes. At right around that time, my ankles, knees, and wrists (due to the crutches) begin to feel like they are on fire. I have been through this before…and fought strongly against this temporary limitation. Yesterday, instead of thinking “I can only walk 10 minutes” I told myself “I am so fortunate to be able to walk 10 minutes!”
I used to feel some internal anger towards my joints when they were not working correctly. I now know that they are working as hard as I am in order to continue living life to its fullest. This was the reason I came up with the “Joint of the Month” Award, so that I can recognize joints that have worked particularly hard during the past month.
My ankles continue to take a beating, but I am proud of them. Have I mentioned that they also like to make a lot of noise…especially in the mornings?
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!