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Fusion of Joints

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Fusion of Joints Treatment & Diagnostics in MRC Nagar, Chennai

Fusion of Joints

Fusion of Joints or joint fusion surgery is also known as arthrodesis or artificial ankylosis. It is an advanced form of orthopedic procedure, which is beneficial to treating acute joint pain.

During this procedure, a surgeon unites or fuses two bones, which are a part of your aching joint. Eventually, it creates one single bone giving more stability to the joint.

To know more, consult an orthopedic surgeon near you or visit an orthopedic hospital near you.

What is joint fusion surgery?

During a joint fusion surgery, the surgeon manually straightens the joint that needs attention, cuts off the ends of the bones, bridges them and then the fusion happens through a natural process. After the surgery, expect stiffness around the joint, and you may lose range of motion. But you will get substantial and long-term respite from pain.

The best candidates are those with strong immunity power and sturdy bones on either side of the damaged joint.

Joint fusion surgery aims to provide pain relief to those who have not achieved any positive outcome from other conservative treatment methodologies.

Who qualifies for this surgery?

Your doctor may suggest a joint fusion surgery if you are suffering from:

  • A fracture in the joint
  • A severe form of arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • A disease, which is causing pain and obstructing the mobility of that particular joint

At the same time, there are people for whom this surgery may not be the right choice. The following can be the reasons:

  • Poor condition of bones
  • Narrow arteries
  • An infection
  • A neurological disorder that may hinder the healing process

Why is this surgery conducted?

Orthopedics recommend joint fusion surgery when conventional treatment methodologies have not been successful. It can treat unrelenting joint pain effectively, eliminate joint-related problems and ensure long-term relief.

Joint fusion surgery can also be fruitful in controlling back conditions like scoliosis, degenerative disc disorder and problems in other joints such as wrists, ankles, thumbs, feet and fingers.

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, MRC Nagar, Chennai.

Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.

How is joint fusion surgery done?

Before this surgery, your doctor evaluates your medical condition and ensures that you are in the right state of health.

A joint fusion involves the following steps:

  • Surgeons may choose either general or local anesthesia.
  • Once the area around the joint is numb, surgeons make an incision and scrape away all the damaged cartilage or tissue from your joint. It facilitates the fusing of bones.
  • After this, they place the bone graft between the two ends of the joint. They can take the bone from your knee, pelvic joint or heel or they may take it from a bone bank, a place which stores bones donated specifically for such types of procedures. Sometimes, doctors also use synthetic components instead of human bones. This type of graft is known as an allograft.
  • Next, with the help of screws, wires, and plates, they place the graft perfectly to fit in the space inside your joint.
  • Once the placement is complete, the surgeons stitch the wound.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of arthrodesis treatment are:

  • It provides respite from extreme joint pain.
  • It stabilizes the joint.
  • It improves alignment.
  • Patients can bear weight on the joint without any discomfort.

What are the risks?

  • Infection
  • Nerve injury or damage
  • Bleeding and formation of blood clots
  • Painful scar tissue
  • Broken or damaged hardware
  • Pain at the location of bone grafting and bone fusion
  • Pseudoarthrosis – it is a condition specifically found in smokers. The joints do not fuse properly due to inadequate bones

Conclusion

After the fusion is complete, in most cases, the joint lacks the ability to move. However, it is typically free from persistent pain. Sometimes, doctors may recommend more than one surgery for complete healing.

References

https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/joint-fusion-surgery
https://www.jointinstitutefl.com/2019/11/22/what-is-joint-fusion-surgery/
https://westidahoorthopedics.com/News/ArticleID/35/What-is-Arthrodesis
https://www.verywellhealth.com/arthrodesis-fusion-of-a-joint-2549258

How do I recover after joint fusion surgery?

Recovery after a joint fusion surgery can take time, from several weeks to a year. It is because two bones merging to form a single bone is a gradual process. During this time, you must protect the area with a brace or cast.

Also, to prevent any pressure, you can use a walking stick, crutches or a wheelchair. Later, your surgeon recommends physical therapy that can bring improvement.

How does joint fusion surgery differ from joint replacement surgery?

In joint fusion surgery, doctors fuse the bones of the particular joint, while in joint replacement surgery, surgeons substitute the degenerated joint with a new one.

Can a joint fusion surgery fail?

The failure of this surgery can result from multiple reasons. Some of which can be:

  • Inappropriate fixation
  • Poor bone condition
  • Diabetes
  • Local infection
  • Sensory neuropathy
  • In such cases, surgeons recommend a second surgery to mend the damage.

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