Case analysis #12: Vincent’s ankle fusion

Vincent's story

Our patient Vincent Johnson had sprained his ankle more than a handful of times, from his highly demanding job as a police officer to his love of adventurous sports. After listening to a radio program in the UK about treatment in Lithuania, Vincent’s wife Jane persuaded Vincent to choose Nordorthopaedics for ankle fusion surgery and Jane chose to come herself for a total knee replacement.

Vincent's diagnosis
Vincent Johnson was diagnosed with severe arthrosis and valgus deformity of the ankle joint. Due to increasing pain, limitations of function, persistent instability of the ankle joint and complete ineffectiveness of conservative treatment, Vincent was recommended ankle fusion surgery.
Performing the surgery

The patient underwent an ankle fusion operation. The surgery was performed arthroscopically through tiny incisions. Various studies have shown that arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis has many benefits, such as quicker surgery time, insignificant blood loss, a lower rate of infection, and fewer soft tissue complications. The arthroscopic approach surgery is performed through a few key-hole-sized incisions, which leave little scarring. After accessing the ankle joint, a surgeon prepares articular surfaces for the fusion by shaving away the bone spurs and clearing down the damaged cartilage. Then the surgeon secures the foot in a 90-degree position by inserting 2-4 screws that connect the bones of the foot with the bones of the lower leg. Over a matter of months, the connected bones heal and fuse, creating a stable ankle joint. As a result, the patient does not need painkillers after the operation.

Before and after ankle fusion
After the surgery

Right after an ankle fusion, the operated ankle is put in a compression dressing and orthosis. It is normal to experience moderate pain and discomfort. 

The patient must refrain from putting weight on the ankle; however, it is advisable to walk around the house with crutches. Carefully moving around for short periods of time keeps muscles and bones strong. The movement also reduces the risk of thrombosis.

Vincent's journey in Nordorthopaedics
FAQ about ankle fusion with our surgeon
13 patients' case studies