Arthritis in your feet and ankles can severely limit your mobility and cause pain that doesn’t respond to nonsurgical treatments. At New York City Ankle & Foot in Woodside and Jackson Heights, Queens, podiatrists Shweta Raina, DPM, Rolando Melendez, DPM, and their team perform foot and ankle fusion surgery to remove diseased cartilage, control inflammation, and help you continue walking. For more information on the surgery, call New York City Ankle & Foot or book an appointment online today.
During foot and ankle fusion surgery, the surgical team at New York City Ankle & Foot fuses multiple bones in your ankle into a single piece. They do so using plates, nails, screws, and often bone grafting material to encourage your individual bones to grow together.
The joint in your ankle, called the tibiotalar joint, involves your tibia, or shin bone, and a bone in your foot called the talus. During foot and ankle fusion surgery, the team at New York City Ankle & Foot encourages these bones to grow together so you can no longer bend your ankle at the joint.
The team uses one of several available strategies to perform your surgery, but they all involve removing the cartilage from around the joint first. They make sure that the bones are level and fit together before placing hardware and bone grafts. After the bones fuse over time, the team might decide to remove the hardware with a second surgery.
The team at New York City Ankle & Foot primarily uses foot and ankle fusion surgery as a treatment for severe arthritis affecting the foot and ankle. There are several types of arthritis, and they all cause painful inflammation and stiffness in your joints. Over time, it becomes difficult to walk because of the inflammation.
If your arthritis is still in a mild stage and doesn’t affect your movement, the team at New York City Ankle & Foot usually recommends nonsurgical solutions first. They might tell you to take over-the-counter pain medications to relieve some of the swelling and pain or to try physical therapy to keep your joints mobile. If these measures don’t work, and your mobility is only getting worse, foot and ankle fusion surgery might be the next step.
To find out if you’re a candidate for foot and ankle fusion surgery, the team evaluates your ankle joints. They might perform imaging tests like X-rays to see the extent of the inflammation and ask you to move your joints. You might be a candidate for foot and ankle fusion surgery if:
You should keep in mind that, since foot and ankle fusion makes your joint permanently rigid, you won’t be able to run at all after the surgery. However, you’ll still be able to walk, and you’ll have less pain and swelling in your arthritic joint.
To find out if you’re a candidate for foot and ankle fusion surgery, book a consultation by phone or online today.