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What happens during joint fusion surgery?

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Once you’ve had anesthesia, your doctor will make a cut in your skin. And they’ll scrape away all the damaged tissue from your joint.

Sometimes, the surgeon will place a small piece of bone -- taken from somewhere else in your body or from a bone bank -- between the two ends of your joint. Or they might use a special manmade substance in place of bone.

Next, they’ll close the space within your joint with metal plates, screws, or wires. This hardware often stays in you even after your joint heals.

Then your surgeon will close your incisions with sutures or staples.

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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What is recovery from joint fusion surgery like?

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