• Lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, meaning the body's immune system creates antibodies that attack healthy tissues, including the joints, skin, heart, lungs and kidney. In some people with lupus, arthritis affects the ankles. However, swelling of the ankles may be a sign of kidney involvement.
  • Psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis accompanied by the skin disease psoriasis. The skin disease often precedes the arthritis; in a small percentage of cases the joint disease develops before the skin disease. Psoriatic arthritis commonly involves the ankle.

Learn more about psoriatic arthritis.

  • Infectious arthritis. Also called septic arthritis, infectious arthritis refers to arthritis that is caused by an infection within the joint. Infectious arthritis is often caused by bacteria that spread through the bloodstream to the joint. Sometimes it is caused by viruses or fungi and can affect the ankles. Untreated, infection can lead to joint destruction.

Learn more about septic arthritis from the National Library of Medicine.  

  • Scleroderma. Literally translated "hard skin," scleroderma is an umbrella term for disorders that involve the abnormal growth of the connective tissue supporting the skin and internal organs. In some cases skin thickening over the joints, such as the ankle, can cause joint stiffness.

Learn more about scleroderma from the National Institutes of Health.