The aim of ankle fusion is to eliminate the pain in your ankle caused by diseased or damaged surfaces rubbing together.
When conservative methods for relieving ankle pain caused by degenerative arthritis or trauma are no longer working for you, your surgeon may recommend ankle fusion.
What happens during ankle fusion?
Ankle fusion is usually performed under general anaesthesic. Through an incision (cut) your surgeon will remove any damaged cartilage and expose healthy bone surfaces in your ankle joint. They will position the bones correctly and compress them together using metal screws. This positioning and compression encourages the bones to grow together. You will not feel the screws and they do not need to be removed.
Sometimes ankle fusion can be performed using arthroscopic (key hole) surgery. Be sure and discuss what method will be used with your surgeon.
After your ankle fusion
You will need to stay in hospital for 3-5 days. You will have a plaster cast on your ankle and you may have a drain in your wound for one or two days. Please let our Healthcare Team know if you are in any pain.
You should not put your weight on your fused ankle for 6 - 12 weeks following surgery. Our physiotherapists will visit you to teach you how to move around with a walker or crutches. They will work with you to ensure you are moving about on your own before you are discharged.
Going home after ankle fusion
Your ankle needs to be fully fused before you can drive. Please arrange for someone to take you home and look in on you in the first few days. You should rest and keep your leg elevated to control swelling. After 10 -14 days you will need to come back to have your stitches removed. You may be given a lighter weight cast.
Be sure and take any pain medications as directed.
Your surgeon may schedule regular x-rays to assess the extent of fusion. As the fusion gets stronger you may be allowed to start putting weight on your foot. You might need to work with a physiotherapist to learn to walk without a limp.
You should plan on 10 to 12 weeks of recovery before returning to normal activities. Be sure and discuss any return to work with your surgeon. Once fusion is complete you may be given special shoe inserts or have your shoes fitted with rocker soles.
Most patients make a good recovery from ankle fusion. Although you may not be able to run with a fused ankle you should be able to walk with a normal gait.
Any surgical procedure can result in complications:
- Blood clots (Deep Vein Thombosis - DVT)
Specific complications of ankle fusion:
- Nerve damage
- Nonunion (lack of fusion)
- Malunion (displaced healing)
Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your surgeon?
67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW
Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH
Brighton01273 624 488
Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX
Bristol0117 906 4870
3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN
Cambridge01223 370 922
4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF
Cardiff and Vale02920 836700
Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN
Cheltenham01242 246 552
Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY
Chester01244 680 444
Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP
78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB
Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN
Exeter01392 276 591
Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG
Glasgow0141 334 9441
25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ
Guildford01483 555 800
Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF
Haywards Heath01444 456999
Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD
Hereford01432 355 131
Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF
Leeds0113 388 2111
2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB
Leicester0116 276 9401
Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY
Newcastle upon Tyne01912 816 131
Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP
North Staffordshire01782 382551
Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB
Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP
Plymouth01752 775 861
Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG
Shrewsbury01743 282 500
Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP
Taunton01823 286 991
Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN
Tees01642 360 100
Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX
Tunbridge Wells01892 531 111
Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL
The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW
Wessex02380 266 377
Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW
Wolverhampton01902 793 269
Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE
York01904 715 000
Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA
Our prices are all-inclusive. We will equal any comparable price. There are no time limits on your aftercare.
Get in touch
Fill in an enquiry form below or call us
A member of the team will respond to you soon.