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Is joint fusion surgery safe?

ANSWER

Most people do well after having it, and complications are rare. Still, you could have:

If you smoke, you could also get pseudoarthrosis. This means that not enough bone is able to form for the joint to fully fuse, and you may end up needing a second surgery.

  • Broken hardware
  • Painful scar tissue
  • Arthritis in nearby joints
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage

From: What is Joint Fusion Surgery? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Spinal Fusion Surgery.”

FootCareMD/American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: “Ankle Arthrodesis,” “First MTP Joint Fusion,” “Midfoot Fusion.”

OrthoArizona/Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists: “Joint Fusion Surgery.”

Chesterfield Royal Hospital/NHS, “Patient information: What to Expect After Your DIP Joint Fusion.”

Mayo Clinic: “Spinal Fusion.”

Mass General Hospital Orthopaedics: “Back On Your Feet: A Patient Guide to Foot & Ankle Treatments.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Surgery for Aching Hands.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 21, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Spinal Fusion Surgery.”

FootCareMD/American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: “Ankle Arthrodesis,” “First MTP Joint Fusion,” “Midfoot Fusion.”

OrthoArizona/Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists: “Joint Fusion Surgery.”

Chesterfield Royal Hospital/NHS, “Patient information: What to Expect After Your DIP Joint Fusion.”

Mayo Clinic: “Spinal Fusion.”

Mass General Hospital Orthopaedics: “Back On Your Feet: A Patient Guide to Foot & Ankle Treatments.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Surgery for Aching Hands.”

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 21, 2019

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