Fusing An Ankle Bones
Ankle arthrodesis, also known as ankle fusion surgery, is a surgery that combines the ankle bones. This fusion is performed with the help of screws or plates. The surgical technique helps eliminate pain and swelling and improve overall quality of life. The fusion of ankle bones is performed in various situations but the most common case is severe arthritis.
Who is a candidate for joint fusion?
Ankle arthrodesis is needed in patients with serious ankle conditions. Severe ankle arthritis such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can be managed with arthrodesis. Ankle fusion surgery also treats other serious ankle conditions such as ankle deformities, neuromuscular conditions, and serious bone infections. Even the symptoms acquired from a failed ankle replacement can be repaired with arthrodesis. Speak to a healthcare provider about one’s eligibility for getting ankle fusion surgery.
Ankle arthrodesis or ankle fusion greatly improves one’s symptoms after the procedure. Patients will gain pain relief and improvement in various activities. There will be better foot stability, ambulation, and ability to perform activities like climbing stairs or weight-bearing activities. Overall, a person’s quality of life significantly improves.
The different kinds of ankle fusion surgery
There are more than 40 surgical ways to fuse the ankle bones. However, there are 2 standard types of ankle arthrodesis. These include open ankle fusion surgery and arthroscopic ankle fusion surgery. The healthcare specialist will know the best type of ankle surgery for each patient.
Success rate of ankle arthrodesis
The majority of people have achieved success with ankle arthrodesis. About 90% of ankle fusion surgery resulted in positive outcomes. Outcomes for ankle fusion differ and also depend on overall medical history. Some patients may require a second surgery if the first one gives discomfort.
Post ankle surgery
After the operation, the doctor will provide instructions on how to take care and precautions. Normal activities such as walking cannot be resumed without approval from the surgeon. During the healing period, physical therapy will be necessary to improve ankle strength and movements. Before initiating any activity, consult the healthcare provider first.
Proceeding with ankle arthrodesis
A severe ankle condition or injury such as severe arthritis can be treated with ankle joint fusion or arthrodesis. However, the doctor will decide if a patient is suitable for the operation. A patient can significantly benefit from this procedure and improve one’s overall quality of life. The majority of past ankle fusion surgery have resulted in successful outcomes. Speak to a specialist about this procedure and other options to solve a painful ankle condition.