Arthrodesis

Arthrodesis is the fusion of vertebrae over a joint space that occurs through a natural process or as a result of surgical procedure. In surgery, arthrodesis, or fusion between two vertebrae, can be achieved by placing bone graft and/or bone graft substitute to bridge the vertebrae so that new bone grows into the spaces.

Arthrodesis immobilizes the joints at the level of the fusion. Thus, the procedure can be used to treat pain caused by the motion or instability of the spine.

The typical causes of such pain are fractures which disrupt the joint, and arthritis. It is most commonly performed on joints in the spine, hand, ankle and foot. Historically, knee and hip arthrodeses were also performed as pain relieving procedures, however with the great successes achieved in hip and knee arthroplasty, arthrodesis of these large joints has fallen out of favor as a primary procedure, and now are only used as procedures of last-resort in some failed joint replacements.

Arthrodesis Can Be Done in Several Ways:

  • A bone graft can be created between the two bones using a bone from elsewhere in the person’s body (autograft) or using donor bone (allograft) from a bone bank.
  • Metal implants can be attached to the two bones to hold them together in a position, which favors bone growth.
  • New technology has been scientifically proven to be osteoinductive by Allograph Research Technologies. This allows the use of bone from tissue banks to be readily available and ground using a patented composite technology that aids in the advanced healing of bone related surgery and growth.

At the completion of surgery and healing, which takes place over a period of several weeks to over a year, the two adjoining bones are fused and no motion takes place between them.

Conditions Treated By Arthrodesis

Arthritis
Fracture

Symptoms Treated By Arthrodesis

Aching joints
Joint pain
Joint swelling
Stiffness in joints

Service Providers

Henry Small, M.D.

Dr. Small is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. He has 23 years of experience.

Vivek P. Kushwaha, M.D.

Dr. Kushwaha has been honored with the Memorial Hermann Hospital Award for “Most Efficient Surgeon” and was commended as one of “America’s Top Physicians” by The Consumer Research Council of America.