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Ankle Fusion Treatment Abroad
Ankle fusion surgery is often the last resort to restore mobility and range of motion in an ankle joint that is basically worn down. In some cases, this wearing down is caused by arthritis in a condition called degenerative arthritis. Also known as ankle arthrodesis, ankle fusion therapy may help restore function and mobility to those experiencing difficulty walking or performing daily living activities.
Benefits of Ankle Fusion Surgery
Ankle fusion surgery is a viable and effective option for individuals diagnosed with a worn out or damaged ankle joint, especially for those who are younger and more active. In most cases, ankle fusion can last a lifetime and prevents the ankle joint from moving while walking or when engaged in other activities. Because of this, additional and surrounding bones, ligaments and tendons in the ankle should be in good condition and offer effective mobility.
Ankle Fusion Surgery Process
Two common approaches to ankle fusion surgery may be utilized by an orthopedic surgeon:
In the open method, an incision is made over the ankle joint. The surgeon will then utilize a special type of surgical saw to remove cartilage covering the surfaces of the ankle joint. Then, articular cartilage on both sides of the joint is removed. This process promotes growth of new articular cartilage as the ankle attempts to heal itself, much in the same way bones will fuse or join together after they're broken.
When articular cartilage is removed, the angles of the cuts need to be correct in order to offer proper realignment of the ankle to the lower or distal end of the tibia, where the ankle and lower bones of the leg meet. Following the removal of the articular cartilage, these bones are held in place with metal plates or screws.
Another common method of ankle fusion is less invasive, called an arthroscopic approach. The arthroscope is a hand-held tool much like a miniature television camera. A long, straw sized tube connected to the device is inserted into the ankle joint, equipped with a tiny camera that enables the surgeon to view the interior of the ankle joint on a computer screen or monitor without having to make large incisions into the ankle.
Viewing the surgical field through the arthroscope, additional instruments are then inserted into the ankle joint to remove the articular cartilage, much in the same way as employed through the open method. A small, rotary cutting tool is utilized for this purpose. After the articular cartilage has been removed, screws are inserted through very small incisions to hold the bones in place.
Rehabilitation following ankle fusion surgery generally begins following removal of the cast, which may remain on for 8 to 12 weeks.
How Much Does Ankle Fusion Surgery Cost?
In the United States, and depending on approach to surgery, ankle fusion surgery may cost between $30,000 and $43,000. Cost will also depend on location, hospitalization costs, and doctors fees. However, patients traveling to foreign locations such as Costa Rica, India or Mexico may spend an average of between $4,000 and $8,000 on ankle fusion surgery using an arthroscopic approach.
Who Performs Ankle Fusion Surgery?
Orthopedic surgeons perform all types of orthopedic surgical procedures including knee surgeries. Potential patients should check to make sure their physician is certified with State, Provincial, or National Board of Orthopedic surgeon organizations or associations in their country of origin.
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Orthopedic Surgery Abroad, Knee Sugery Abroad