In this procedure, the surgeon roughens the ends of the damaged bones and then fastens them together with metal plates and screws. During the healing process, the damaged bones fuse together into one combined bone.
Ankle fusion is usually very successful in relieving arthritis pain. But it also reduces the ankle's motion. To make up for this, nearby joints may move more — which increases the risk of developing arthritis in these joints.
Ankle fusion is usually recommended for younger people with more-active lifestyles. Compared with ankle replacement, ankle fusion:
- Is generally more durable
- Requires fewer restrictions in activity during recovery
Consult with an orthopedic surgeon to determine if ankle replacement or ankle fusion is the right treatment for you.