For some conditions, minimally invasive procedures are not effective. For these joint problems, the surgeon must use open surgery. If possible, your surgery will be done on an outpatient basis.
Types of procedures
The purpose for many of these procedures is to relieve pain and restore function by reconstructing, replacing, or realigning joints in your foot or ankle. Arthritis is usually the underlying condition causing the pain and immobility.
- Joint resection involves increasing the space between the bone and socket by removing a portion of the bone from a painful joint. Scar tissue eventually fills the gap, narrowing joint space again. Pain is relieved and motion is restored, but the joint is less stable. Your surgeon makes an incision at the joint, then carefully removes the minimum amount of bone necessary to allow free motion. The more bone that remains, the more stable the joint. Ligament attachments are preserved as much as possible.
- Inter-positional reconstruction is surgery to reshape the joint and add a prosthetic disk between the two bones forming the joint. Both bones of the joint are reshaped, and a disk of material is placed between the bones to prevent their rubbing together.
- Total joint replacement is a procedure where the joint is removed completely and replaced by a prosthetic joint.