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Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about arthrodesis?

Arthrodesis is surgery to completely fuse (join) the bones of a joint. This prevents the joint from moving. This surgery may be done to decrease pain caused by arthritis, injuries, or deformed joints. Arthrodesis may be done on large joints such as your elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle. It may also be done on the small joints of your hand or foot.

How do I prepare for arthrodesis?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Your provider will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after surgery.

What will happen during arthrodesis?

What will happen after arthrodesis?

You may need to wear a splint, soft or hard cast, or walking boot to keep your joint stable as it heals. If you had arthrodesis in your knee, ankle, or foot, you will need to keep weight off your joint for up to 12 weeks. Over time you will be allowed to slowly put more weight on your joint. You will need physical therapy after you have recovered from surgery.

What are the risks of arthrodesis?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.