Ankle Fusion Surgery cost in South Africa

Also known as ankle arthrodesis, the surgery involves fusing of the tibiotalar bones or the ankle bones. More than 2000 to 3000 candidates are known to undergo ankle fusion surgery every year worldwide. The surgical procedure has been widely accepted as one of the most beneficial as well as long-term cure for ankle arthritis, and has therefore been capable of restoring mobility to innumerable people across the world. The extent of surgical procedure required depends on the condition of the candidate. Although modern incisional techniques have been introduced, yet many candidates require an extensive open surgical procedure in complex cases. Thus, the type of procedure required directly affects the ankle fusion surgery cost worldwide.

What is Ankle Fusion Surgery?

The ankle comprises of the shinbone or the tibia and the fibula from the lower part of the leg that fuses with the talus, which in turn rests on the heel bone. Fusion surgeries are mostly done in extreme cases of arthritis that affects and damages the ankle joint. Ankle arthritis may result in wearing out, of two or more bones in the joint, inflammation, redness, and pain leading to partial or complete immobility in the region. In most cases the condition affects the articular cartilage as well. Apart from that, ankle fusion surgeries may also be performed in case of ankle injury. 

 Ideal Candidate for Ankle Fusion Surgery

Conventional treatments are always primarily suggested for pain in case of ankle pain or injury. Besides, physical therapy and other conventional therapies are also implemented before deciding on surgical procedures. Hence, one can be a candidate for ankle fusion surgery, if the individual:

  • Has incurred severe injury causing bone fracture, or tear of articular cartilage.
  • Has chronic ankle arthritis.
  • Is unresponsive towards preliminary treatments.
  • Severe continuous pain causing restricted daily activities or immobility.

Factors Affecting the cost of Ankle Fusion Surgery

Injury in ankle or arthritis may affect people of any age, mostly in case of athletes. However, in cases that require surgery, the ankle arthrodesis cost may vary depending on a number of factors, which are:

  • The age of the candidate 
  • The reason and requirement of the surgical procedure
  • Extent of procedure required
  • Country where the procedure is being performed
  • Healthcare facilities availed by the candidate.
Treatment and Cost

15

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

3 Day in Hospital

12 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 4000

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Ankle Fusion Surgery cost in South Africa?

The average cost of Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa starts from USD 4000 While there are wide range of hospitals offering Ankle Fusion Surgery, international patients should always seek COHSASA-Certified Hospitals in South Africa for the best results.

What are the factors affecting the cost of Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa?

Ankle Fusion Surgery package cost in South Africa has different inclusions and exclusions. Some of the best hospitals for Ankle Fusion Surgery offer a comprehensive package that covers the end-to-end expenses related to investigations and treatment of the patient. The Ankle Fusion Surgery procedure in South Africa includes the fees of the surgeon, hospitalization and anesthesia as well. There are many things that may increase the cost of Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Africa for Ankle Fusion Surgeryt?

There are many hospitals across the country that offer Ankle Fusion Surgery to international patients. The top hospitals for Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa include the following:

  1. Life Kingsbury Hospital
  2. Netcare Linksfield Hospital
  3. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital
  4. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa?

The recovery of the patient many vary, depending on several factors. However, on an average, patient is supposed to stay for about 15 days in the country after discharge. This time frame is important to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient is fit to fly back.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Ankle Fusion Surgery?

One of the topmost destinations for Ankle Fusion Surgery is South Africa. It has a variety of accredited hospital, affordable cost of treatment and some of the best medical fraternity. Some of the other destinations that are popular for Ankle Fusion Surgery include the following:

CountryCost
CzechiaUSD 6200
HungaryUSD 5000
IndiaUSD 4200
IsraelUSD 20000
LithuaniaUSD 5000
Saudi ArabiaUSD 4000
SingaporeUSD 9300
South AfricaUSD 4000
SpainUSD 22000
TunisiaUSD 3900
TurkeyUSD 8000
United KingdomUSD 6500
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Ankle Fusion Surgery?

There are certain additional cost that the patient has to pay apart from the Ankle Fusion Surgery cost. The per day cost in this case may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Ankle Fusion Surgery Procedure?

Some of the cpopular cities in South Africa that offer Ankle Fusion Surgery include the following:

  1. Durban
  2. Lenasia
  3. Johannesburg
  4. Cape Town
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa?

After the Ankle Fusion Surgery takes place, the average duration of stay at the hospital is about 3 days. The doctors team review the patient's recovery during this time with the help of blood tests and imaging scans. Once they feel that everything is on track, the patient is discharged.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Ankle Fusion Surgery?

The average rating for Ankle Fusion Surgery hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. Several parameters such as hospital infrastructure, pricing policy, quality of services, politeness of staff etc. contribute to the rating.

How many hospitals offer Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa?

There are more than 4 hospitals that offer Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa. The above listed hospitals are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Ankle Fusion Surgery patients. Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.

Who are the best doctors for Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa?

Some of the renowned doctors for Ankle Fusion Surgery in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. Chris McCready

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

Some of the world-class multispecialty hospitals in South Africa are:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
  3. Busamed Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital
  5. Busamed Lowveld Hospital
  6. Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  7. Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital
  8. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  9. Lenmed Shifa Hospital

Below are some of the parameters which reflect the quality of these hospitals:

  1. Providing clear information about medicines to patients
  2. Effective engagement between nursing staff/doctors and patients;
  3. Suitability of the hospital environment for meeting the needs of patients
  4. Effectively managing pain.

South Africa is known to have strict government regulations for controlling the quality of care provided by the government and private hospitals. Supported by state-of-art infrastructure, advanced medical equipment, and highly qualified doctors, the hospitals offer various facilities to improve the patient experience.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) are two healthcare accreditation bodies in South Africa. In order to ensure coordinated and integrated care is provided by healthcare facilities, COHSASA sets and assesses standards for all sectors and departments of a healthcare system. The SafeCare program introduced by JCI, COHSASA, and SafeCare Foundation aims at using internationally recognized standards to provide health care delivery. Clinics and Hospitals that comply with standards are initially given two-year accreditations and this period is extended if they are consistent in providing quality care.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

South Africa is gaining global attention for medical tourism due to affordable treatment costs and world-class infrastructure. Medical tourists prefer South Africa for treatment due to many other reasons like world-class facilities provided by hospitals, advanced technology, global exposure of doctors, and accredited hospitals. In addition, South Africa’s liberal laws allow for the use of stem cells in medical practice, making it an invaluable destination for patients in need of advanced medical treatment. The patient-centric hospitals in South Africa help you with all kinds of organization and administrative tasks and provide a world-class patient experience through all-inclusive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

The doctors in South Africa strive to provide quality treatment utilizing their deep subject knowledge and hands-on experience in handling various complex cases. Having trained in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba, doctors in South Africa use their global exposure in developing deep expertise in various procedures. The doctors have reported a high success rate in dental procedures and fertility treatments. South Africa has world-class doctors due to several reasons like their education at reputed colleges, adherence to global standards, patient-centric approach, and incorporation of the human touch in treatment.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can get a medical visa to South Africa for 90 days. The High Commission of the country decides for how long a visa could be extended. Anyone willing to stay in the country for longer than 3 months needs to apply for a temporary residency permit. A visa becomes valid the day it is issued by the High Commission and not on the date of departure. Also, an application for a visa is not be accepted more than 30 days before departure. Here is a list of documents that you will require for applying for a medical visa:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport-sized photographs
  3. Online Application form
  4. Full return flight reservation
  5. Proof of stay in South Africa
  6. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  7. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
What are the popular procedures available in South Africa?

A large number of people visit South Africa to avail procedures like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, and hip replacement. South Africa has also gained popularity for delivering excellent results in cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. Egg donation program is available in South Africa and it is even possible to select your donor, as well as gives you the option of having a surgical or non-surgical procedure, all with very low waiting times. People select South Africa to avail these procedures due to several reasons, such as world-class hospitals with superior infrastructure and highly-skilled doctors, fast recovery, and use of cutting-edge medical technology.

Which are the most popular cities in South Africa for medical treatment?

Some popular cities of South Africa that attract a huge number of medical tourists every year are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is a world-class tourism attraction and is home to a variety of people from different cultures, as well as some of the top-class doctors and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world Most of these cities have an efficient public transportation system, cheap accommodation options, and connectivity through airlines. Healthcare in Johannesburg is similar to Great Britain’s health care, and the city’s public and private healthcare sectors work hand in hand with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to South Africa?

Yes, you need to get vaccinated before travelling to South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre have suggested the following vaccinations: Yellow fever, hepatitis A, rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera. Infants 6 to 11 months old travelling to the country should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for most travellers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas. You can connect with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for the required vaccines. Also, refer to the travel advisory issued by the government.