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Arthrodesis

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 example:

  • 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 rates.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.