What is joint fusion?
Joint fusion is a surgical process carried out to relieve arthritis pain in the wrists, thumbs, spine, ankles and fingers. The joint fusion surgery is also known as arthrodesis. In this procedure, two bones on each end of the joint will be fused. It may sometimes eliminate the joint itself.
Who is a candidate for joint fusion procedure?
Patients whose joints have worn down or destroyed due to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or other types of arthritis are usually considered for fusion of joints procedure. Severe back or spine pain caused due to back problems lik tumor or herniated disc are also treated using joint fusion of the spine.
How the surgery is performed?
The surgery is mainly performed in two ways:
Bone graft method: In this procedure, bone can be taken from a bone bank or another part of the patient’s body. The bone is placed in between the two bones are combined to stimulate the fusion.
In this procedure, the joint is closed using implants, screws, wires, implants and metal plates. The bones will heal over time with the bodily developments. In some cases, a bone graft may be required to help the healing process.
What are the advantages of joint fusion surgery?
A fused joint has various advantages like
- More weight bearing capacity
- Increased stability
- Decreased or no pain
What are the risks and complications of joint fusion surgery?
The risks and complications may vary according to various factors such as the age, health status, and the type of procedure done. Some of the potential risks of the procedure may include:
- Pain at the site of bone fusion
- Fusion failure
- Damage to the metal implants
- Nerve injury
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