Arthrodesis is a surgical procedure performed to relieve arthritis pain. An alternative to joint replacement surgery, this procedure is also called joint fusion. It is typically performed on joints such as ankles, wrists or the spine. Arthrodesis is an option for those who severely suffer from arthritis and cannot manage pain through nonsurgical methods.

What to Expect

During the procedure, the physician will position the joint-forming bones together with implanted pins, rods or screws in order to fuse the bones. A bone graft may be necessary for patients with significant bone loss. Once the joint is fused, the patient will experience more stability and less suffering from severe arthritis. 

How to Prepare

Pre-procedure use of medication should be discussed with your primary care physician prior to your scheduled procedure date. Patients may be asked to refrain from taking aspirin for a week or more before the procedure, as well as to fast for eight to 12 hours before the surgery. The doctor will advise the patient of any medications prohibited prior to the surgery. Make sure that your home is organized safely to avoid injury after the surgery. After surgery, the patient will likely wear a cast and, depending on the area of injury, crutches or a wheelchair may be necessary for mobility.