Joint Fusion Surgery

Joint Fusion Surgery Questions and Answers

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Dr. Paul Dicpinigaitis, MD, can provide you with all you need to know about the benefits of joint fusion surgery and whether you are a candidate for this effective procedure. For more information, call us now.

Joint Fusion Surgery Near Me in Massapequa, NY
Joint Fusion Surgery Near Me in Massapequa, NY

Table of Contents:

How long does it take for a joint to fuse?
Can you drive with a fused ankle?
Can joint fusion surgery treat arthritis?
How is joint fusion surgery performed?

How long does it take for a joint to fuse?


It can take as long as 12 weeks for a joint to thoroughly fuse up to another six months for the joint to heal after joint fusion surgery. The length of time it takes for a joint to fuse after joint fusion surgery often varies according to the area of the body that joint fusion surgery is performed on, the severity of the damage in that area, and the patient’s overall condition.

Immediately after surgery, postoperative care typically involves minimizing swelling as much as possible. As such, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will likely be prescribed, and your doctor will recommend that you follow the RICE method for home care. The RICE method stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation and is meant to prevent further injury and reduce inflammation by keeping the injured area above the heart and keeping it cool.

Can you drive with a fused ankle?


After having joint fusion surgery on an ankle, driving might be a bit of an issue! Whether or not you are able to drive after undergoing such a procedure depends on the specific ankle involved (whether it is the right or left ankle), if you are taking any narcotic pain medication, and what your doctor’s recommendations are for driving. When joint fusion surgery is performed on the left ankle, there are fewer impediments to driving, as you will not need to use the affected ankle to use the brake or gas pedals. However, when the right ankle is affected, driving is typically not recommended as your ankle is not mechanically sound enough to perform the movements required for safe driving. However, it is imperative that you consult with your doctor and follow their recommendations to a tee with regard to driving after having joint fusion surgery. Driving is never recommended when under the influence of narcotic pain medications.

Can joint fusion surgery treat arthritis?


If arthritis has advanced to the point of causing significant damage to your joints, joint fusion surgery is often recommended as an alternative to joint replacement surgery, which can often cause complications in some patients. While joint fusion surgery reduces the range of motion in the affected joint, it can dramatically reduce pain in that joint, which likely reduced your range of motion in that area, to begin with!

How is joint fusion surgery performed?


Joint fusion surgery is performed while the patient is under either general or local anesthesia so that you either sleep through the procedure or do not feel anything in the treatment area. Once the anesthesia has taken hold, the doctor will make an incision in the treatment area and remove damaged tissue from the joint. After the damaged tissue is removed, the joints are fused using metal plates, screws, or wires to close the space between the joints.

We welcome you to get in touch with us at Dr. Paul Dicpinigaitis, MD, in Massapequa, NY, if you think joint fusion surgery could be a solution for you! Please feel free to schedule an appointment with us through our website or by giving us a call anytime from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday through Thursday or from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM on Fridays.