Ankle Fusion Surgery

What is Ankle Fusion Surgery?

Ankle fusion is a serious surgical procedure that's performed on extreme cases of ankle arthritis. When patients complain of ankle ache because of arthritis, and even after being on non-surgical treatments but cannot see any improvement, then surgery could be an option. For extreme cases, patients who have severe arthritis can opt for ankle fusion surgery and ankle replacement surgery.

Ankle arthritis is not as well-known as their hip and knee counterparts. Ankle arthritis is mainly some sort of strain to the ankle joint, like an ankle fracture. Most patients who suffer from mild or moderate ankle arthritis can be relieved with simple treatments. But for patients who are suffering from a more severe form of ankle arthritis, who have tried simple treatments but to no success, would be required to have ankle surgery.

Candidates for Ankle Fusion

Ankle fusion surgery can be performed in patients of all ages and is the best option for patients with severe joint arthritis. Ankle fusion is preferred in patients who lead a more active lifestyle since they might wear out the ankle replacement.

Patients who are not eligible for ankle fusion surgery are patients who can manage with simpler treatments. The reason why surgery is not a viable option for patients who can get treated with non-surgical treatment is because of the fact that they will have a permanent stiff joint and will be unable to perform certain tasks such as running.  As with most surgeries, it does come with its fair share of risks. Ankle fusion should be done with extreme care on patients who have joint infections, or who are smokers, as these types of patients are more prone to developing complications from these sort of surgery.

Ankle Fusion Risks and Complications

Even though the majority of the hospitals who have undertaken ankle replacement or ankle fusion surgery have state of the art equipment to handle such high-risk procedure, it does come with its own set of risks and complications. Discuss all the risks associated with your surgery to your doctor to get some clarification on the matter. Some important, yet unusual complications to keep note of are as follows.

•    Infections

•    Blood clots

•    Injury to nerves or blood vessels

•    Negligible bone healing or bone fracture

•    Stiffness

•    Dislocation of artificial joints

•    Pain

•    Breathing Problems or allergic reactions

Treatment and Cost

15

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

3 Day in Hospital

12 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 3900

Hospitals

About the Ankle Fusion Surgery

What is Ankle Fusion Surgery

Ankle fusion operation, also known as ankle arthrodesis, is a surgical procedure conducted to close the joint space by joining the bones that make up the ankle joint.

Your ankle joint is an articulation of three bones. These three bones are known as the tibia, fibula, and the talus. During ankle fusion operation, the cartilage covering the bony surface of the ankle joint is scraped off. The diseased part of the bones is also trimmed.

Next, the newly exposed bony surface of the tibia and the talus are placed in close contact. Additionally, they are compressed using screws. New bone formation takes place in and around the joint resulting infusion of the bones into a single bone.

Candidates for Ankle Fusion Surgery

Ankle fusion operation is recommended for patients experiencing unbearable pain during the ankle movement. The pain may result because of the following reasons:

  • Joint wear and tear
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Infection in or around the joint
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Failure of previous non-surgical treatment

Not all patients with the aforementioned conditions are always suitable for ankle fusion. Patients with the following characteristics are not suggested to undergo this surgery:

  • Insufficient quantity and quality of bone
  • Severe deformity in the leg
  • Vascular diseases that prevent proper healing

How is Ankle Fusion Surgery performed?

During the surgery, you are given either local anaesthesia or sedation to numb the entire ankle area. The doctor makes a small cut on the lateral side of the ankle through the skin so that the joint can be seen clearly. If more visibility is needed, the doctor makes an extra cut in the front of the ankle.

The doctor then uses a saw to remove the articular cartilage on the surface of the joint bones. The diseased bone is removed, exposing the healthy part of the bone. The healthy bone surfaces are compressed using large screws. The bones join naturally through deposition of bone material as is the case with natural fracture healing.

Sometimes, a doctor may place an artificial bone graft or a bone grafted from your fibula to ensure fast healing of the bony surfaces. Before placing the screws, the doctor carefully positions the ankle to ensure maximum movement possible. The ankle is placed at 90 degrees to the lower leg and the heel is slightly outwards. Then the skin is brought back in place and sutured together.

Recovery from Ankle Fusion Surgery

Ankle fusion recovery time depends on how seriously you take the following precautions after the surgery:

  • You need to keep the leg raised and give yourself cold compression to avoid swelling.
  • You may sometimes feel tingling sensation early in the morning once you put your leg down. This is because sudden rush of blood towards the ankle when you change the position from an elevated position.
  • You should take pain medicines as directed by your doctor.
  • You should come back to the hospital 10 to 15 days after the surgery to get the stitches removed.
  • You will have to carry the splint for 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Your doctor will put you on a no-weight bearing program for 6 to 12 weeks. This period can be extended if your doctor finds that healing is not fair enough.
  • You will be advised to go ahead with gentle physiotherapy after removal of splints to prevent stiffness in joints.

Alternate treatment options:

Arthroscopic ankle fusion surgery: This procedure is similar to the open ankle fusion surgery. However, the incision is very small and the entire procedure is carried out by inserting an instrument that has a camera attached to one end. It helps the doctor clearly view the interior cartilage and bones. Faster recovery and healing are the two advantages of this approach.

Ankle joint replacement: During this procedure, the entire ankle joint is replaced. The advantage of this technique over ankle fusion is that it retains complete movement of the ankle.

Ankle Fusion Recovery Time

  • The minimum time that it takes to recover from fusion recovery is between 12 to 15 weeks.
  • During the first 6 to 8 weeks, you are not supposed to put any weight on the ankle. If you do anything like that, it may disturb the natural healing of the joint.
  • During 8 to 10 weeks of a recovery period, your doctor will advise you to get an X-ray done. If the healing is good, you will be allowed to conduct the light physical activity with the help of cast boots.
  • During 10 to 12 weeks, you can increase the physical activity, but you will be asked to take help of supportive ankle devices.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

Why go for Ankle Fusion Surgery in U.A.E?

UAE is the best for state of the art medical technology and most hospitals have accomplished doctors on call for all sort of ankle and foot related surgery. It is also more cost-effective than most countries, hence you would have to face reduced medical costs as well.  

What is the cost of Ankle Fusion Surgery cost in U.A.E?

The average cost for ankle fusion surgery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)  costs around $3031, but prices can vary depending on which hospital you would want to enrol in. Always get a quote from the hospital before admission to know the actual cost.

Which are the top Hospitals and top Orthopedic Surgeons for Ankle Fusion Surgery in U.A.E?

  • Novomed Centers – Dr Kris Lewonowski

  • Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery – Dr Nader Darwich

  • Mediclinic Welcare Hospital – Abhay Dandwate

  • Emirates Hospital- Dr Marwan El Khazen

  • German Medical Center – Abdel Rahman Ahmed

Which are the best cities for Ankle Fusion Surgery in U.A.E?

The top cities in the UAE that offer the best Ankle fusion surgery are:

  • Dubai

  • Abu Dhabi

  • Sharjah

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