What is foot arthrodesis?
Foot arthrodesis (foot fusion surgerry) is a surgical technique consisting of the artificial fusion of bones forming the joint, which become immobile after the surgery.
Foot arthrodesis surgery is performed under local anaesthesia as an outpatient procedure.
Why is foot arthrodesis done?
The goal of the intervention is to relieve pain or to reduce any deformity caused by:
What does foot arthrodesis involve?
Two different techniques are used in foot arthrodesis:
Open foot arthrodesis: A large incision is made and the joint is visualised directly.
Arthroscopic foot arthrodesis: Small incisions are made in the skin and a thin arthroscope is passed through. The arthroscope has a small camera and is connected to a monitor allowing the doctor to view every stage of the operation. Other thin instruments for performing the surgery are passed through the incisions into the joint. There are many ways to attach the two bones together so that they do not move in relation to each other:
- Large screws
- Steel plates
- Long steel bars
- Bone grafts
How to prepare for foot arthrodesis:
Preparation involves exhaustive cleaning of the metatarsal bone and the base of phalanx until the subchondral bone appears.
The joints will take four months to fuse completely. Subsequently, you will require rehabilitation therapy with a physiotherapist. Post-operative pain is fully controlled with tablets. During this period, post-operative therapies, follow-up X-rays and rehabilitation exercises are done. Post-operative footwear must be worn for 6-8 weeks, until the bones fuse. Subsequently, you will wear trainers for a similar duration.
Alternatives to this treatment:
Arthroplasty or replacement of the joint is an alternative way to improve the affected joint and to relieve pain.