Arthrodesis fuses two bones that form a joint. The joint will not be able to move after this surgery is done. One or more joints may be done at the same time.

Arthrodesis of Foot and Ankle
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Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Infection
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or a sore throat
  • Poor alignment of the joint, causing pain or problems walking
  • Failure of the joint to fuse
  • Need for repeat surgery
  • Nerve damage

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.


Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 

University of Washington School of Medicine 


Canadian Orthopaedic Association 

Department of Orthopaedics—The University of British Columbia 


Arthritis of the foot and ankle: arthrodesis. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated December 2019. Accessed May 11, 2020.

Ankle arthrodesis. FootCareMD—American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society website. Available at: Updated 2018. Accessed May 11, 2020.

Deben SE, Pomeroy GC. Subtle cavus foot: diagnosis and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2014 Aug;22(8):512-520.

Pes cavus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Accessed May 11, 2020.