Patients may be candidates for ankle arthrodesis if they have severe ankle arthritis and more conservative treatments have failed. Many patients may find relief from the pain associated with ankle arthritis using:
Injections of steroids into the ankle joint
Modification or limitations of activity
Walking aids (such as canes)
Specialty braces that stabilize the ankle and restrict its movement
Cushioned and specially contoured shoes
These treatments do not reverse ankle arthritis. In many patients they may temporarily or permanently provide relief from pain. Non-operative treatments avoid the potential complications of surgery. If these measures fail to provide adequate pain relief or maintain function, a patient may be a candidate for ankle fusion.