Arthritis (Foot and Ankle) Surgeries
Some of the conditions associated with arthritis, such as hammer toes, can be corrected through surgery. In cases where joints have actual and severe arthritic changes, the most successful surgical option is joint fusion. This is often performed on the patient’s big toe, the heel, the middle portion of the foot, and the ankle. In this procedure, the joint’s cartilage is removed and the joint is locked in place with plates, screws, or a rod through the bone. This creates one solid bone. There will be a loss of motion, but the goal is to improve pain and function. The complete replacement or arthroplasty of the ankle joint with an artificial joint may be possible in certain patients. This is a relatively new surgical procedure that can offer good results 10-15 years after surgery. It is not yet known if this will prove to be as successful in the long-term as hip or knee replacement surgery.