If you have an ankle problem and wish to make an appointment in Clinic in either Birmingham or London then please call the relevant telephone number above and ask to be booked into Mark Herron's clinic. If you wish to learn more about the lead clinician at the Foot and Ankle Clinic please select the relevant option from the drop down menu.
If you wish to view the full surgical technique please select the link below
Foot Surgery Atlas Ankle Fusion
An arthritic ankle before and after successful ankle fusion
What is a fusion?
A fusion is a permanent joining or bonding together of (and removal of movement from) a joint. In the case of an ankle fusion the two sides of the ankle joint, the talus and the tibia, and depending on technique sometimes the fibula, are fused.
How is an ankle fusion achieved?
The more superficial layers of the joint (remaining cartilage and bone) are removed to reveal healthy underlying bone. This underlying, sub-chondral bone is not involved in the arthritic process. When the two healthy cut surfaces of the tibia and talus are placed next to each other and compressed, new bone grows across the area of the previous joint. Effectively, a fracture healing process is occurring which will lead to a complete obliteration of the previous joint space with new bone and the formation of a single bone incorporating both the talus and the tibia where previously there were two separate bones.
Any remaining joint lining and diseased bone (which generate the feelings of pain) are removed during this procedure. The resulting surfaces of healthy, normal bleeding bone are then stabilised and compressed, usually using screws across them. This environment encourages new bone to grow across the area of the joint, causing it to fuse, effectively forming 'one bone' where previously there were two. Bone needs to grow across the surfaces for a successful union.
The joint space visible before the ankle fusion
The joint space obliterated after the ankle fusion