Arthroscopic Ankle Fusion (Ankle Surgery)
An ankle fusion is a procedure that fuses the bones in the ankle joint only, but you still have quite a bit of motion in the joints surrounding the ankle.
The thing that makes me unique with fusions is that I do them arthroscopically, so the biggest incision I have to make for an arthroscopic ankle fusion is 1.5 to two centimeters , and those are only necessary to put screws in to fuse the joint.
You have a lot more motion than you would think. But you do put wear-and-tear on the adjacent joints, and they can wear out just like your ankle joint wore out. Generally, it takes about 20-25 years, so it takes a while for that to happen, but they can wear out. I mean we know that it’s just like healing a fracture together: once the bones heal together, it’s good…you can run marathons or do whatever you want.
In about three months, my patients are back in a normal shoe. They’ve been really , really happy with the results.
I think I would wait as long as possible, and I would try non-operative treatment for as long as I could. When that stops working, or the patient finds the brace is just not feasible with his or her lifestyle, okay, we can come up with something else, including surgical treatment options like ankle fusion.