Ankle fusion is commonly used for patients with end stage ankle arthritis. It involves removing the remaining cartilage within the ankle and using screws/ plates to allow the two bones to become one.

Symptoms and signs

Pain within the ankle (particularly pain disturbing sleep), reduced walking distance (less than 1km) and swelling are common presentations of ankle arthritis.  A history of prior injury or ankle fracture is common in patients who develop ankle arthritis.


The remaining cartilage is removed from the ankle joint until healthy bone is exposed on both sides. Local bone graft is used in cases with cysts, deformity or revision. Screws are used to compress the joint which allows your body to fuse the bones together.

After your surgery

  • You will be in plaster for 2 weeks then a moon boot until the 3 month mark. Non weightbearing is used for the first 8 weeks post surgery.
  • The usual length of stay in hospital is 1 – 2 nights.
  • The plaster should remain intact until your post operative visit 10 – 14 days post surgery. A bag should be used to keep the plaster dry for showering.
  • If you do not have an appointment for review in the rooms within 10 days after your surgery please phone the rooms to arrange this.

Risks of ankle fusion

  • Non fusion (non union)
  • Infection
  • Damage to nerves / blood vessels
  • Ongoing pain
  • Arthritis in associated joints

Perth Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre

31 Outram Street
West Perth WA 6005

9.00am – 4.00pm Monday to Friday

FAX  +61 8 9212 4264

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