Jessie J Needs to Know that Ankle Injury Shouldn’t Have to Lead to a Lifetime of Painful Arthritis!!

While Katy Perry was in Columbus at the Schottenstein Arena on September 13, one of her original opening acts, up and coming pop star Jessie J was unable to perform that night and for most of the tour.  In June, Jessie had jumped off a stage while dancing during rehearsals and badly hurt her foot.  Now, in recent interviews, Jessie has been describing the story of her injury and how she now feels it will cause her painful arthritis for the rest of her life.  Jessie and anyone else who has suffered a traumatic ankle injury need to know their treatment options to avoid or cope with possible arthritis in the future.

After her ankle injury, Jessie was initially diagnosed with a ligament injury of the ankle.  Unfortunately it was not diagnosed until later that she had also fractured 4 bones in her foot and ankle.  While ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries that dancers can encounter, it is also important that the individual be evaluated by x-ray or other radiographic imaging for bony injury if have symptoms of tenderness when they press on bone or are unable to stand on only the injured foot.  Chronic lateral ankle pain, or pain on the outside of the ankle, can result from both ligament or bone damage to the ankle, but bone fractures can also lead to arthritis of the ankle.  While arthritis in the knee or hip common result from wear and tear over time, the most common cause of arthritis of the ankle is a previous traumatic injury.

The missed diagnosis of broken bones has led to a more severe situation for Jessie’s ankle.  Because Jessie’s fractures were not diagnosed until later, the broken bone pieces were allowed to continue moving in an unstable manner in her foot as she continued to bear some weight on them in a brace for the ligament injury.  Without proper blood supply or biomechanical stability, bone pieces cannot realign and unite.  This is called a non-union and when it occurs as it likely did with Jessie a graft of bone material must be surgically placed in the foot to promote union and healing of the bones.  After this “bone transplant” as Jessie has been referring to it, she now complains of chronic pain in her ankle and a possible future of painful arthritis.  Because she cannot turn back time and get her foot promptly diagnosed correctly to have possibly avoided the non-healing of her bones, Jessie and all foot and ankle arthritis suffers should talk to their podiatrist about their options to reach a much less painful state. Physical therapy may be an initial step to healing and regaining motion in the joint after surgery.  There are also other surgical options to help an arthritic joint function less painfully and thus with better motion, including a fusion of the bones that make up the joint or a total joint replacement.  For active individuals such as Jessie, studies have shown that in arthritic patients who received a total ankle replacement were able to greatly increase their sports activity from their previous arthritic state.

Luckily for Jessie J her diagnosis was eventually caught and she will hopefully look into future treatments to alleviate some of the pain of her current condition and possible arthritis!

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia