Arthrodesis of the Ankle Joint

One of the indications for arthrodesis (joint fusion) of the ankle joint is a joint deformity, which may occur, after intra-articular fracture or post-traumatic necrosis of the talus, or due to some developmental abnormalities of the skeletal and muscular system that can cause destruction of the cartilage that covers the articular surface of the bones.

The classic method of treatment using screws and rods has many disadvantages. First of all, there is a high rate (20-30%) of failure of bone union that results in necessity of repeat surgeries. When using the Ilizarov method, this rate is ten times lower.

During the classic treatment the patients are not allowed to weight bear on the foot for two months, while, using the Ilizarov method, the patients begins to weight bear on the involved foot on the second post-operative day, which shortens significantly the bone healing period. Besides, when using the Ilizarov method, after the treatment and the apparatus removal, the affected area has no arthrodesis plates or bolts left in place. Therefore there is no need for another surgery for removing them (in case they cause discomfort to the patient).

Tibial non-union with post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the ankle joint