Dr. Horton describes the different versions of the ankle fusion procedure.
Let’s discuss the different types of ankle fusion procedures. There is the classic traditional open procedure where a large incision is made, usually on the outside of the ankle, and this allows full exposure to the ankle joint. Sometimes the tip of the fibula may be resected and used as bone graft for that procedure.
The other type of fusion would be an arthroscopic fusion where smaller portal sites are created in the front of the joint and the joint is resurfaced using an arthroscopic burr tool that then cleans the surface in a similar manner, and this preserves more of a circular type of surface such that you can position the foot anywhere you want.
Advocates of arthroscopic fusion quote the faster recovery time and the less invasiveness of the procedure, but when you look at long-term results and compare the two procedures, there’s really not a significant difference in arthroscopic versus open fusion techniques. They both have the same fusion rate as well as patient satisfaction.
About Dr. Horton, M.D.:
Dr. Eric R. Horton, M.D. is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in lower extremity conditions and ankle and foot reconstruction at Alvarado Orthopedic Medical Group. He has almost ten years of private practice experience in treating a wide range of adult, juvenile, and childhood orthopedic disorders including trauma, sports injuries, arthritis, leg deformities, and other musculoskeletal conditions of the body.