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In some cases fusion of the bones in your midfoot may ease your pain and aid your mobility.

Your midfoot is made up of several small joints. Arthritis or an injury to the middle of your foot can cause pain and swelling making walking very difficult.

What happens during midfoot fusion?

The length of your fusion surgery will depend on what area(s) need correction. Midfoot fusion is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic may also be used to enhance pain relief immediately after surgery.

Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the upper part of your foot. They will remove the cartilage from your joint surface(s). Using pins or screws they will compress the joints together to hold the joint in position. They will close the wound with stitches or staples. A cast may be applied to hold the foot in place and control post-operative swelling.

After midfoot fusion

We will give you pain relief medication. Be sure and let a member of our healthcare team know if you are in pain.

A physiotherapist will visit to help you stand and begin moving around on your own. They will teach you how to use a walker or crutches. You may need to restrict weight bearing in the first weeks following your operation.

You may be able to go home the day of your surgery. In some cases one overnight stay is required.

Going home after midfoot fusion

You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home. Continue to take any pain medication as prescribed.

For a few weeks you may need to take blood thinning medication to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

For the first week you should ice and elevate your foot to control swelling. You should not place any weight on your foot until released to do so by your surgeon (anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks).

You will have a follow-up appointment 10-14 days post-surgery to assess your wound and remove any stitches or staples. You may have a new cast applied or be given a removable boot. You should continue with no weight bearing.

To monitor how well your foot is fusing you will need to return for several x-rays. Based on the results of your x-rays you will be able to begin weight bearing.

At around 12 weeks after your surgery you will need another x-ray. If the results are positive your cast or boot may be removed and partial weight bearing may be allowed. You may also be prescribe physiotherapy to strengthen your foot and improve your mobility.

It can take several months (9-12) for swelling to settle. Continue to elevate your foot as needed.

Once your fusion is achieved you should be able to return to wearing normal shoes and resume exercise.

Be sure and discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Most people recover well from midfoot fusion. As with any surgical procedure there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)

Specific complications of midfoot fusion:

  • Mal-position
  • Non-union
  • Nerve damage
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your consultant?

Wessex Hospital

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377

By car: our hospital is conveniently located just off Junction 12 of the M3 between Southampton and Winchester, with free parking available. Parking Eye is in operation at this site, please ensure you input your car registration on one of the portals at the main reception. By public transport: the nearest train station is Chandlers Ford - a 20-minute train journey from Southampton Central station. The 1 Bluestar bus, which serves Southampton, Chandlers Ford and Winchester, is just 5 minutes walk from the hospital.

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