The need for ankle fusion surgery arises when you are suffering from severe arthritis in your ankle. This can result in extreme pain, stiffness in the ankle, and possibly inflammation. Any movement is made difficult even walking from one place to another is a task. In such a scenario where none of the alternative treatments is working, you can, in consultation with your surgeon, go for ankle fusion surgery.
South Korea is a technological giant and this reflects in its healthcare organizations as well. The country is well known for being an active medical tourism hotspot. People come here not only for sightseeing and holidaying but also for getting the required treatment for any ailments they may have. The doctors and surgeons in South Korean hospitals are amongst the finest anywhere in the world. Ankle fusion surgery is performed in many hospitals, clinics, medical centers in South Korea, and the recovery process is followed in some rehabilitation centers post surgery. Some of these healthcare institutions are listed below for your perusal. Asan Hospital (Asan Medical Center), Seoul Severance Hospital, Seoul Samsung Medical Center, Seoul Kang Dong Hospital, Busan Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong (KUIMS), Seoul Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH), Seoul Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, Seoul Seoul Bumin Hospital, Seoul Sarang Plus Hospital, Seoul Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Seoul, and other locations in South Korea Konkuk University Medical Center International Clinic, Seoul Good Moonhwa Hospital, Pusan Hallym University Medical Center, Seoul Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan Sejong General Hospital, Puchon National Rehabilitation Center, Seoul KS Hospital, Gwangju
Ankle Fusion surgery cost in South Korea is much lesser than the Ankle fusion surgery cost in the United States of America where just the operation costs US$ 20,200 (average). The total costs including surgery, medical costs, hospital stay, accommodation, flights, and transfers are much cheaper than those in South Korea.
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.
Ankle fusion operation is recommended for patients experiencing unbearable pain during the ankle movement. The pain may result because of the following reasons:
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:
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.
Ankle fusion recovery time depends on how seriously you take the following precautions after the surgery:
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.
South Korea’s state of the art facilities and medical excellence ensures that it remains a favourite for patients coming in from Western countries. Its Ministry of Health and Welfare ensures that the entire process – from pre-surgery consultation to post-operative follow-ups are done in a hassle-free manner for foreign nationals
The entire cost of flight, transfers, accommodation, food, hospital stay, surgery costs, and medical costs is far less than the US costs. In the US the average costs for the procedure alone come to $19184. In South Korea, the same procedure can be done at a fraction of the cost, without compromising on the quality of healthcare or facilities.
Professor Myung Chul Lee from Seoul National University Hospital specializes in new age technology in orthopaedics. Doctor Kook Hee Kyun from Sarang Hospital too is a renowned name in orthopaedics.
Yonsei University Health Systems (YUHS) + Gangnam Severance Hospital has a reputation since its inception in 1885. It specializes in orthopaedics, along with several other departments. The 2715-bed ASAN Medical Center in Seoul
The presence of highly qualified physicians and surgeons in South Korea means that the level of healthcare delivered to patients matches international standards. Their intense focus on advanced orthopaedics makes them the top most professionals in the field of foot and ankle surgeries. With it, their success rate in South Korea remains high and is well above the worldwide average.
Korea Institute for Healthcare Accreditation (KOHIA) and Commission International (JCI) are the two main healthcare accreditation bodies in South Korea. JCI, which has certified around 29 hospitals in South Korea, has set strong quality parameters based on which hospitals are evaluated. KOIHA has a comprehensive framework for evaluating the hospitals and the quality parameters are administrative management and quality of patient care and performance management. As evaluators of the rigorous international standards, JCI and KOIHA help hospitals to improve the quality of healthcare through continuous monitoring.
South Korea is considered one of the top destinations for medical tourists with superior infrastructure and most advanced medical technologies. Populated with top-quality multispeciality hospitals, South Korea produces good doctors in the world who have deep expertise in their specialty area and strive to provide better patient experience through quality treatment. South Korea offers affordable quality treatment and has reached great height in the healthcare sector due to its innovative approach, helping the country to offer a wide range of procedures with excellent results. South Korea is one of the most preferred medical tourism destinations in the world due to many other reasons, such as a wide range of food options, scenic value, affordable accommodation, visa availability, transportation facilities, and language assistance.
Handling a large number of successful procedures, the talented doctors in South Korea use their deep expertise in performing various procedures with high precision and accuracy. Having received quality education at reputed institutions and with decades of rigorous training, the doctors have reported high success rates. The doctors aim to provide quality care with complete patient satisfaction by following medical protocols and international standards. The doctors focus on preventative medicine to check complications and believe in treating patients with a human touch.
You should check with the concerned authority for any extra documents required because every country has its own documentation policies. In order to make sure that you do not miss any essential documents, make a list of all the documents you might need during your stay in South Korea. Travel insurance paper, currency/forex card, and international SIM card are some other documents you may need when traveling to another country. The essential documents that you need to carry along with you when traveling to South Korea are passport copies, test reports, doctor referral notes, medical history, residence/ driver’s license/ bank statement/ details of health insurance, visa, credit/debit cards.
A large number of people visit South Korea every year to avail procedures like:
. According to a survey, South Korea has the highest per capita rate of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic clinics are spread in large number across the country. Other most sought-after procedures available in South Korea are hip and shoulder replacement, cancer treatment, organ transplant, and cardiovascular surgeries. South Korea has made landmark achievements in cancer treatment and some advanced techniques used to remove cancer cells are robotic surgeries and proton therapies.
The cities that attract a large number of medical tourists in South Korea are Incheon, Daegu, Seoul, Busan, Cheonan, and Cheonan. There are several factors that help make these cities popular for seeking treatment, such as top-notch hospitals, superior infrastructure, and highly experienced doctors. Transportation facilities, affordable accommodation, more food options, and language assistance are some other reasons why these cities are more preferred by medical tourists. Seoul is mostly popular for plastic surgeries and Gangnam district alone has 500 cosmetic and aesthetic centers.
The process of obtaining a medical visa in South Korea is very stringent and is done under the strict supervision of the South Korean embassy. A candidate has to produce medical records citing medical reasons and the referral certificate signed by the registered medical expert. The person who is accompanying a patient traveling to South Korea for medical treatment is granted a medical dependent visa. You need to also produce relevant letters/documents with details of the treatment, signed by the doctors and hospitals, and a declaration form signed by the patient or any family member.
South Korea is known to have world-class multispecialty hospitals, such as:
The multispecialty hospitals in South Korea provide world-class treatment with the help of high-tech equipment, the latest medical technologies, and state-of-art infrastructure. The hospitals are committed to delivering quality medical care by ensuring that healthcare standards and protocols are strictly followed. With a wide range of specialities, the hospitals have reported high success rates with the help of highly-experienced doctors who are capable of performing even the most complex surgeries with high accuracy and precision.
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