If arthritis or fractures of your ankle bone are causing you pain and making it difficult to stay mobile, you may be a candidate for an ankle fusion procedure. At Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio in Mentor, Chardon, Westlake, Bedford and Garfield Heights, Ohio, the experienced team of surgeons offers innovative ankle fusion surgeries that can relieve you of your ankle pain and get you back to your usual activities. Find out more about the benefits of an ankle fusion by calling the office or by using the online booking feature.
Ankle Fusion Q & A
What is an ankle fusion?
An ankle fusion is a surgical procedure that joins multiple ankle bones into one solid bone. Following a fusion, you no longer have a full range motion in your joint, but you may find significant relief from pain due to chronic arthritis or joint degeneration.
Why do I need an ankle fusion?
Ankle fusion surgery is typically a last resort when other therapies have failed to relieve arthritis pain or fix other conditions affecting your ankle joint, such as a pilon fracture of the tibia bone.
Your doctor at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio will determine if surgery is right for you after reviewing your symptoms and taking X-rays of your ankle joint.
What can I expect during ankle fusion surgery?
Your surgeon performs fusion surgery under general anesthesia. First, they make incisions in and around the ankle to reach the joint.
Then your surgeon removes surrounding cartilage to ensure bones make contact with each other for a successful fusion. They use metal components to fuse the ankle bones together in a position that allows for some mobility in your ankle.
Before closing the incisions, your surgeon ensures your ankle is properly aligned.
How long does it take to recover from an ankle fusion?
Everyone heals differently from a fusion surgery. You can expect to wear a splint or a plastic boot that allows your bones to heal properly. Your surgeon at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio will determine how long you must wear the stabilizing device. Generally, patients can expect to wear the device for two weeks or longer.
To keep swelling down and promote healing, you should keep your foot and ankle elevated as much as possible for 2-3 weeks after surgery. You may benefit from using a wheelchair, walker, or crutches to keep weight off your ankle when you need to be mobile.
Typically, your stitches will stay in for up to two weeks after surgery. It can take 6-8 weeks before you can put weight back on your ankle. When you’re ready, your surgeon will recommend physical therapy exercises to start rebuilding your strength.
To find out if you’re a candidate for ankle fusion surgery, call Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio or book an appointment online.