Ankle Fusion (Arthrodesis)
Fusion, or arthrodesis, removes arthritic joint surfaces and uses pins or rods to hold the bones until the joints fuse into one bone.
This surgery reliably eases pain, but does result in some loss of motion in the ankle. The loss of motion does not interfere with the daily activities of most people.
For decades, ankle fusion was the recommended surgery to treat ankle arthritis, and for many it still is the best choice.
However, ankle fusion may cause increased stress on adjacent joints, leading to arthritis in those joints 10 to 20 years later. Ankle replacement surgery is an alternative that puts less stress on adjacent joints.