Foot fusion surgery is carried out to permanently join or stiffen the joint between arthritic bones. It is used to treat a wide range of conditions including arthritis, flat feet, rheumatoid arthritis and previous injuries such as fractures caused by wear and tear to bones and cartilage.
The operation, which usually involves staying overnight in hospital, is performed under a general anaesthetic with an added injection in the leg to numb the foot after surgery and reduce pain.
In most cases the surgeon makes one or two incisions (cuts) in the foot, depending on which joints are being fused together. The painful damaged joint is removed and the bones are stiffened with plates and screws that remain in the foot to increase stability and allow the bones to fuse (join) as they heal. If extra bone is needed to help the bones join, this can be taken from another area of your body or from donor bone; however, you will be able to discuss this with the surgeon before the procedure.