Arthrodesis is a type of surgery that joins (fuses) 2 bones in a
diseased joint so that the joint can no longer move. It may be done when pain
and disability or instability from a diseased joint can no longer be managed
with medicines, splints, and other methods.
The surgery may be done on joints such as the fingers, knees,
ankles, or spine. Depending on the joint and the particular disease the person
has, different methods of doing arthrodesis are possible. For
Bone from elsewhere in the person's body or
from a bone bank can be used to make a "bridge" between the bones and to
stimulate growth of new bone.
Metal implants may be secured to the
bones to hold them together until new bone grows to complete the fusion.
Depending on the joint, these procedures may have high complication
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics