If severe arthritis or an past injury has damaged your ankle joint, a surgical procedure can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Although after an ankle fusion or transfibular, you may not be able to flex or extend your foot, you will be able to move it side to side after it has healed. This procedure can help active people get back on track, without the pain. During this procedure, we remove cartilage and damaged bone, then stabilize the joint by fusing it together.
The first step we will take is to make an incision, sometimes two, to remove the fibula. After that the doctor will reshape the bone and align the joints correctly. Depending on your case, we may need to opt for bone grafting in order to fill in any gaps and achieve proper alignment. Grafts are often taken from the removed fibula, heel, or pelvic area if necessary. Once the ankle is ready, we will use screws and plates to secure it together, in order to stabilize the joint.
Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the incision and place the foot in a cast. After a short monitoring period, the patient will be allowed to return home. Crutches will be needed for 6-8 weeks after treatment, and physical therapy will be needed throughout the healing process. Once the bones have started fusing together, you will be able to put weight on that foot, and within 3-6 months it should be healed completely! If you are looking to repair your damaged ankle, please come in for a consultation, where we can decide if this, or another procedure is best for you!