Ankylosis or stiffening of the lower ankle joint (arthrodesis)
A procedure to stiffen the ankle joint can be performed in cases where it has undergone severe changes, for example, due to arthrosis. After this procedure called arthrodesis, an orthosis protects the ankle joint and gradually increases the foot’s capacity to bear weight.
Causes, symptoms and treatment
A surgical procedure to stiffen the lower ankle joint can be performed in cases where the ankle joint has undergone severe changes, for example, due to arthrosis. This is known as arthrodesis. The goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce pain.
Ottobock supports and orthoses
An arthrodesis is performed in certain cases where the individual has severe arthrosis, considerable and chronic joint instability or severe malpositions.
Common causes for an arthrodesis are severe and complex joint changes or injuries that restrict the individual’s everyday life to an extreme extent.
The doctor makes the diagnosis based on the individual’s medical history (anamnesis) and an assessment, often complemented by imaging procedures.
The therapy is always surgical, with an incision made in the skin on the outside of the foot in the lower ankle joint. When the joint is exposed, the articular surfaces on the ankle bone and calcaneus (heel bone) are surgically removed. Finally, screw connections are used to bring the joint into a functional position. The leg is able to bear full weight after 10 to 12 weeks of rehabilitation at the earliest. An orthosis supports the ankle joint during this time. It facilitates physiological movements in most cases, particularly the rollover movement of the foot.