What is foot fusion surgery?
The aim of foot fusion surgery is the permanent fusion of separate bones in the foot. This procedure is used to treat flat feet, arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, and fractures that haven’t healed of their own accord, or that are caused by wear-and-tear of cartilage and bones over time.
When midfoot fusion is carried out, it can involve one or two bones being joined together, or all the midfoot joints that comprise the foot’s arch. The midfoot’s bones are stiff by their nature, functioning to strengthen and support the foot. Therefore, when they are fused, it doesn’t usually affect movement adversely.
How is it carried out?
The operation, which usually involves staying overnight in hospital, is performed under a general anaesthetic with an added injection in the leg to numb the foot after surgery and reduce pain.
In most cases the surgeon makes one or two incisions (cuts) in the foot, depending on which joints are being fused together. The painful damaged joint is removed and the bones are stiffened with plates and screws that remain in the foot to increase stability and allow the bones to fuse (join) as they heal. If extra bone is needed to help the bones join, this can be taken from another area of your body or from donor bone; however, you will be able to discuss this with the surgeon before the procedure.
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