Ankle Fusion (Arthroscopic)

Indications for operation

Ankle arthritis.


The operation will be performed while you're asleep under a general anaesthetic.

Operation type



Two 0.5cm incisions are made on either side of the ankle at the front. Two further small incisions are made over the inside of the tibia (shin).


The ankle is filled up with fluid and all of the surfaces are inspected. All of the surfaces on both sides of the ankle joint are removed until the remaining surfaces are healthy bone that will be able to fuse together in the same way that a broken bone heals. The ankle joint is then placed in the position in which it is hoped that it will fuse (normally at right angles to the leg) and held there with two or three large screws across the ankle (from the tibia to the talus).

Wound closure

The wounds are closed with absorbable stitches.


Dressings are placed over the stitches and a plaster applied to the ankle below the knee.

Immediate aftercare

When you wake up you will have a plaster on your leg below the knee. You will be able to get out of bed the day after the operation but will need to keep the leg off the ground and hop. Once you have mastered this and your surgeon and anaesthetist are happy, you will be able to go home with an appointment to be seen in outpatients.

It is important to keep the leg elevated as much as possible for the first few weeks.
This prevents the leg from getting too swollen.

The leg will remain in plaster for a total of six weeks. If our clinic X-rays then show steady progress you will be given a removable boot and allowed to start putting about half of your weight on the ankle. This is likely to continue for a further six weeks but will depend further X-ray to see on how well the joint has fused.


All operations carry small risks of complications. Whilst these are very rare, they need to be balanced against the potential benefits and this is something that your surgeon will discuss with you in detail before the operation. The specific risks for arthroscopic ankle fusion are failure of the bone to join together, swelling, injury to the nerve, pain in other joints of the foot.

Our practice covers the following hospitals:

Parkside Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 971 8026

St Anthony's Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 335 4678

Ashtead Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 221441

New Victoria Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 9499000

Clock House Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 840837