Knee Arthrodesis with Internal Fixation

Knee arthrodesis is a procedure that fuses the thigh bone to the lower leg bone at the knee. The joined bones may be secured with plates and screws. This method of support is called internal fixation. It provides support while the bones fuse together. Your knee will no longer be able to bend after this surgery.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if any of these occur:

    • Signs of infection such as fever or chills
    • Problems at the incision site such as redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, or draining
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Pain that does not go away with the pain medicine
    • Numbness or tingling in lower leg
    • Chest pain or trouble breathing

    If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Knee arthrodesis is a procedure that fuses the thigh bone to the lower leg bone at the knee. The joined bones may be secured with plates and screws. This method of support is called internal fixation. It provides support while the bones fuse together.

    Your knee will no longer be able to bend after this surgery.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Knee arthrodesis may only be done if all other repair methods are not appropriate or have failed. It may be done:

    • After a failed knee replacement
    • In patients with chronic joint infections that have led to severe knee damage
    • In patients with debilitating pain that cannot be resolved by other treatment options
    Knee arthitis
    Joint Damage Due to Arthritis
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    Arthrodesis may reduce pain and improve overall function. However, it will prevent bending at the knee and will cause a limp.

  • Possible Complications

    Your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Excess bleeding
    • Adverse reaction to anesthesia such as light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing
    • Infection
    • Blood clots
    • Loosening of components is possible in patients with poor bone quality
    • Aggravation of current medical conditions
    • The thigh and shin bones do not join together as expected

    Factors that may increase the risk of problems include:

    • Smoking
    • Some chronic diseases, like obesity or diabetes
    • Heavy alcohol use

    Make sure you talk to your doctor about these risks before your procedure.