Arthrodesis of Foot and Ankle — Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthrodesis fuses the two bones that form a joint. There is no longer movement in the joint after the procedure. One or more related joints may be done at the same time. Arthrodesis of Foot and AnkleCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Bleeding or discharge from your incision(s) — This may show up as staining on your cast.
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Increasing or severe pain that is not relieved by your pain medicine
    • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea and vomiting
    • Numbness, tingling, or discoloration in the foot

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Arthrodesis fuses the two bones that form a joint. There is no longer movement in the joint after the procedure. One or more related joints may be done at the same time.

    Arthrodesis of Foot and Ankle
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    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Ankle and foot arthrodesis is done to relieve disabling ankle or foot pain, or deformity caused by poorly healed fractures, arthritis, damaged cartilage, infections, or developmental defects.


    The procedure results in pain relief in most patients.

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an arthrodesis, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Failure of the joint to fuse
    • Poor alignment of the joint, causing pain and/or an altered gait
    • Need for repeat surgery
    • Infection
    • Bleeding
    • Nerve damage

    Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
    • The use of certain medications