What Is a Triple Arthrodesis Surgical Procedure?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I have been told that I need a triple arthrodesis surgical procedure.  Could you please explain in detail exactly what this is and what I can expect after the procedure?

Doctor's response

A triple arthrodesis is an operation that fuses three joints of the ankle.  It's purpose is to completely immobilize the ankle joint.  It is used for patients who have a severely degenerated joint - most commonly a result of old injury.

The ankle that is fused will not have motion.  Because there no longer is a joint, there no more pain.  Typically, in order to assist walking, a rocker-bottom shoe must be used.  The long-term results are generally very good.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018