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Ankle fusion surgery

What is ankle fusion surgery?

Ankle fusion surgery is frequently performed on patients with arthritis or an ankle fracture, where the cartilage in the joint is damaged. As the cartilage gets worn away, the space between the bones constricts causing friction between the bones, leading to stiffness, pain, and occasionally, ankle joint deformity.

The objective of ankle fusion surgery is the permanent fusion of the bones to stiffen them and stop them from damaging each other.

What does ankle fusion surgery involve?

The patient will be put under a general anaesthetic, together with another injection to numb the area at the site of the operation to numb and minimise pain.

Your consultant will first take away any damaged cartilage before fusing the tibia and talus, the two main bones of your ankle. Should additional bone be required, this can be provided from your hip bone or by using donor bone.

Attending a pre-assessment screening is good way of maximising the benefits of your surgery. At your screening, you’ll have your blood tested to assess your Vitamin D levels; swabs will be taken to check for infection or other issues; you’ll be weighed and have a chance to talk through your medical history, to highlight any potential anaesthetics issues.

It is highly recommended that you stop smoking at least eight weeks before surgery because smoking affects your ability to heal and leads to health issues, such as greater risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clots forming in the lungs), deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the calf) and infection in particular.

Ankle fusion surgery

Foot & ankle consultants

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