In a previous article, we answered some FAQs about preparing for triple arthrodesis (aka hindfoot fusion) surgery. In this article, we will answer some common questions we hear from patients about recovering from triple arthrodesis surgery.
What Does Early Stage Recovery Entail?
Your surgeon will walk you through the specifics of your recovery based on your individual needs, but in general, your foot will be placed in a splint and be elevated for roughly two weeks post-op. During this time, you will not be allowed to put any weight on it. After 2-3 weeks, your sutures may be removed.
How Long Does Full Recovery Take?
After 2-3 weeks, your surgeon may start to allow partial weight bearing with the help of a walking boot, cast or other aids. Slowly but surely, you’ll increase the amount of weight you bear until you are full weight bearing, which typically takes around three months. During this time, you’ll also be participating in physical therapy and other strength training exercises. Maximum strength and recovery can take up to one year.
What is the Success Rate of Triple Arthrodesis Surgery?
The overwhelming majority of triple arthrodesis operations are classified as a success, and most patients say that the minimal loss in joint motion is worth it for the reduction in pain and discomfort. Of course, success rates also depend on other factors, like the degree of deformity, a person’s weight, whether or not they are a smoker and how much a person participates in physical therapy. You control some of your success throughout the process.
Can I Return to Normal Activities After Surgery?
After you’ve completed your rehabilitation, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to return to normal physical activities. There may be a little lateral stiffness in your joint, but with decreased pain, you should be able to do more physical activities than you could prior to your operation.