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Ankle Fusion
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



An arthroscopic procedure performed to fuse the ankle because it is arthritic and painful with any motion or weight bearing. Two to four small incisions are made around the ankle. An arthroscopic camera and instruments are used to inspect the joint. Remaining cartilage is removed with a shaver and the bones are then connected together using screws. Once the ankle is fused there is the loss of motion but a significant resolution of pain.

Common Questions about Ankle Fusion

What is an ankle fusion?

Ankle fusion is the combining of two or more joints in the ankle, usually the tibia and the talus. The fusion of the bone alleviates pain and swelling of formerly arthritic elements.

Should I consider an ankle fusion?

Ankle fusion should be considered if other non operative treatments such as medication, steroid shots, and physical therapy are found ineffective. In addition, those with conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may be inclined to consider the treatment.

What is the surgical procedure like?

Ankle fusions are performed arthroscopically. The cartilage is removed with a burr under and screws are anchored between the two bones to maintain their position while fusing together.

What is the rehabilitation process like?

After the surgery, patients wear a cast for up to 8 weeks and are aided with crutches. After the casting, patients transition into a ankle brace and then in the following weeks to regular shoes.

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