Ankle Fusion (Arhtrodesis)

The Foot & Ankle Center
at Modern Orthopedics of New Jersey

Experience Top Orthopedic Care
Schedule Now

Book an appointment to meet with a Board Certified Orthopedic Physician.


72 Route 17 North
Paramus, NJ 07652


2025 Hamburg Turnpike
STE C, Wayne, NJ 07470


3799 US-46
#207, Parsippany, NJ 07054

Ankle fusion surgery, or ankle arthrodesis, is a procedure in which the bones that comprise the ankle joint are fused together to alleviate severe arthritis pain. If you are experiencing ongoing pain in your ankle(s) and non-surgical treatment options haven’t provided effective relief, it may be time to consider ankle fusion (arthrodesis) surgery.

What is Ankle Fusion Surgery

Ankle fusion surgery is never a first-line treatment for arthritis pain but can improve quality of life and offer a return to physical activity for patients who have exhausted less invasive options without success. The procedure can be used to treat various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear arthritis), post-traumatic arthritis (arthritis that develops as the result of an injury to the ankle joint), or rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease).

The goal of ankle arthrodesis surgery is to reduce or eliminate pain altogether and allow for improved activity by fusing together the bones of the ankle joint. The surgery does decrease motion in the ankle joint but can still be a highly viable solution for many patients.

Anatomy of the Ankle Joint

The ankle joint is the synovial joint that connects the foot with the lower leg. Though it is often referred to as a single joint, the ankle joint is actually composed of two separate joints: The true ankle joint (which is made up of the tibia, fibula, and talus bones) and the subtalar joint (which is composed of the talus and the calcaneus, or heel bone).

Cartilage in a healthy ankle joint allows the bones to articulate smoothly and painlessly with virtually no friction. When arthritis breaks down or damages this cartilage, pain, inflammation, and stiffness can occur.

Indications for Ankle Fusion Surgery

Ankle fusion surgery may be indicated in patients with ankle arthritis if:

  • Pain is severe, ongoing, and negatively impacting overall quality of life.
  • Non-surgical treatment options have failed to provide pain relief and/or maintain functionality. These may include:
    • Physical therapy
    • Specialty braces or footwear
    • Icing and/or heat treatments
    • Pain medication
    • Steroid injections
    • Walking aids

Diagnostic Procedures for Evaluating Ankle Conditions

Your surgeon will evaluate your ankle by performing a physical examination and taking a detailed medical history, including information about any unsuccessful treatments that have been tried. They may also order further diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.

Consulting With a Foot & Ankle Specialist for an Ankle Fusion

Ready to effectively treat ankle pain caused by arthritis with a permanent surgical solution? The world-class team of surgeons at Modern Orthopaedics of New Jersey is here to help. Contact our office today to book an appointment!

The Ankle Fusion Surgical Process

Ankle arthrodesis surgery takes place under general anesthesia or sedation and local anesthetic. In some cases, the procedure may be performed arthroscopically (via the placement of a camera and tools into the ankle joint through small incisions). In others, an open surgical procedure may be optimal.

Your surgeon will make incisions around the ankle to access the joint and will remove any remaining cartilage so that the affected ankle bones are in direct contact with one another. Next, hardware will be placed to hold the bones together permanently and promote organic fusion. Depending on the circumstances, a bone graft may also be used to aid the fusion process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recovery timeline following ankle fusion surgery?

You will not be able to place any weight on the affected joint for several weeks following ankle arthrodesis surgery and will need to use a knee scooter, crutches, or a wheelchair for mobility.

With your surgeon’s approval, you’ll receive a walking boot and, usually about 10-12 weeks after surgery, can start gentle weight-bearing without the boot. Ongoing physical therapy will be necessary throughout your recovery process, which may take between 6 and 12 months.

Why is ankle fusion preferred over other treatments?

The main benefit of ankle fusion surgery is that it reduces or eliminates arthritis pain in the ankle altogether and is meant to be a permanent solution. Your surgeon may also consider a total ankle replacement (ankle arthroplasty) and will explore which procedure may offer a preferred outcome based on your specific circumstances and health goals.

What are the long-term outcomes of ankle fusion surgery?

Approximately 90% of all ankle arthrodesis surgeries result in successful fusion of the ankle bones. This can mean a return to physical activities that were too painful to engage in prior to surgery.

What are the potential risks and complications of ankle fusion surgery?

Like all surgeries, ankle fusion surgery has certain inherent risks. These include:

  • Infection
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage
  • Nonunion (failure of the ankle bones to fuse together)
  • Misalignment of the bones
  • Potential arthritis in other joints due to slight changes in biomechanics

 Our Awarded

Dr. Einul Chowdhury, DPM, AACFAS


Meet Dr. Chowdhury

Dr. Einul Chowdhury is a Board Qualified Foot & Ankle Surgeon that specializes in: lower extremity trauma, sports medicine, minimally invasive surgery, & limb deformity correction. Learn more about specialties, training and treatment philosophy by visiting Dr. Ein's full profile page.

View Profile
Recent awards

A Different Orthopedic Experience.


Treatment Diversity

We offer a comprehensive range of treatments, ensuring personalized, targeted plans for every patient.


Collaborative Care

Our multi-disciplinary approach involves various specialties to provide comprehensive care and recovery.


Patient Focus

We prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction, creating a supportive environment for optimal healing.


Technological Excellence

We utilize cutting-edge technology for precise diagnosis and innovative treatment options.


Skilled Experts

Our team is composed of highly skilled, experienced orthopedic professionals, providing expert care.


Post-Treatment Support

Our robust post-treatment support ensures ongoing patient care through recovery and rehabilitation services.

Orthopedic Doctors New Jersey

About Us

Modern Orthopaedics specializes in conditions and treatments of the shoulder, elbow, hand/wrist, hip, knee and foot/ankle with locations in Wayne, Parsippany, and Paramus, NJ.


Our Locations