For people who suffer from arthritis of the ankle, and where that arthritis can no longer be treated and controlled by conventional methods of pain management such as painkillers, physical therapy, specialised footwear and splints to support the afflicted joint from excessive movement, surgical intervention is the only answer to provide a more long term and permanent solution to the pain. Please note however that due to limitations in current medical technology, there is no such thing as a definitive cure for arthritis.
Ankle fusion is by far, one of the most commonly performed surgical options for a person who suffers from arthritis of the ankle, and the reason for this is due to the aggressive nature of the disease. In addition, total joint replacement of the ankle, whilst it does exist, is still very much a “new” science, and so while it can provide some very positive and impressive benefits to the patient, these results are short-lived, far from perfect, and will ultimately, only ever delay the need for more remedial surgery such as ankle fusion. Further, total joint replacement is only a viable option for a small group of patients who must be carefully vetted before undergoing the procedure to minimise any degree of risk.
What are the the types of ankle fusion?
Arthroscopic ankle fusion is the type of ankle fusion which is predominately favoured by surgeons for a variety of the reasons, and these are as follows:
- The arthroscopic ankle fusion surgical procedure will only require a very small incision into the bone, which in turn will greatly reduce the risk of infection not to mention improving the wound healing process.
- This form of ankle fusion will also help to directly ensure that actual damage to the soft tissue of the ankle joint is reduced as well, thereby ensuring that the amount of pain experienced by the patient after the procedure is minimized.
- Using arthroscopic ankle fusion surgery, the patient will be able to weight bear on the fused joint almost immediately. With traditional ankle fusion surgery, the patient will be non weight bearing and therefore, confined to a wheelchair, for a space of three months minimum.
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