Ankle arthrodesis is an orthopaedic surgery in which the main bones of the ankle joint (the tibia and the talus) are fused together. The goal of this surgery is to relieve pain and maintain or improve function for a patient with ankle arthritis.
Ankle arthrodesis eliminates the motion and reduces pain from the arthritic joint. This surgery is the only option if the patient has severe ankle arthritis and other conservative treatments have failed to give relief.
As a part of ankle arthrodesis procedure, you will be given general anaesthesia before the surgery. Your orthopaedic surgeon will make an incision on the outside of the ankle or in the front of the ankle. Any remaining cartilage within the ankle joint is removed. Sometimes, a bone grafting may be needed to aid in the fusion.
After getting access to the bone, screws and plates may be used to hold the ankle in the correct position for fusion. After that, tubular metal nails are used to hold the joints in position through small poke holes.
Complications of ankle arthrodesis surgery may include infection, bleeding, blood clot, and damage to nerves or blood vessels. There is a rare risk of non-union.
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