Ankle arthrodesis is a surgery that involves fusing the bones of the ankle to overcome the effects of arthritis. The ankle has two joints:
- The tibiotalar joint that is the meeting of the shin bone with the foot bone.
- The subtalar joint formed when two of the tarsal bones in the foot meet.
Arthritis can lead to pain and swelling in the aforementioned joints. Ankle arthrodesis done to treat this can be performed either as an open surgery or arthroscopically. During surgery, the joints will be pressed together and then secured in that position using metal screws, nails, etc. Sometimes, a bone graft may be used to hasten healing. Post-surgery pain is expected. It will be managed with medication; keeping the foot raised will also help. The foot will be immobilized in a brace to prevent any movement. Complete recovery will take 3-6 months.