At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, we offer advanced arthrodesis and joint replacement procedures to restore ankle function. These procedures are essential in the field of podiatry, ensuring that patients can return to an active life without pain or limitations.

Procedural Objectives:

  • Arthrodesis (joint fusion): a procedure in which a joint is fixed in a fixed position in order to eliminate pain and restore function. It is accomplished by fusing joint surfaces or placing implants to create a stable anatomical configuration.
  • Joint replacement (Arthroplasty): involves removing the damaged ankle joint and replacing it with an artificial implant. The aim of this procedure is to reduce pain, restore movement and improve the patient's quality of life.

Arthrodesis is used when conservative treatments such as physical therapy and drug therapy do not provide sufficient relief from pain and dysfunction. It may be recommended to stabilize a joint when it is deformed or damaged.

An ankle replacement procedure is considered when joint damage is so severe that it cannot be effectively managed with conservative methods.

At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, our specialists have extensive experience in arthrodesis and joint replacement. We strive to provide our patients with a personalized and comprehensive approach to treatment, ensuring optimal results and a return to full activity.

When Is Joint Fusion or Replacement Recommended?

Arthrodesis and joint replacement become necessary in a number of cases when other treatments fail to provide adequate relief or stabilization of the joints. These include:

  1. Severe arthritis: rheumatoid, post-traumatic, or osteoarthritis, in which the joints undergo a destructive process that results in severe pain, and limited mobility.
  2. Chronic pain that cannot be controlled with conventional treatments, including medications and physical therapy.
  3. Joint instability resulting in recurrent injury, pain and limited activity,
  4. Congenital joint deformities.

Preparation for Surgery

Preparing for surgery plays a key role in ensuring a successful outcome and a speedy recovery for the patient. At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, we provide our patients with detailed guidance and support during this important step.

Key Recommendations:

  • Consultation with the surgeon: physical diagnosis of the joint, review of x-rays and other medical records to determine if arthrodesis or joint replacement is appropriate in your particular case. Discussion of the possible risks and benefits of each procedure.

Appointment of additional medical tests: blood tests, EKG and chest x-ray to make sure the patient is healthy enough for surgery.

Recommendations for preparation

  • Stop smoking. Smoking slows the healing process and increases the risk of complications.
  • Reduce your weight if you are overweight or obese. Excess weight puts more stress on the joint and will make recovery more difficult.
  • Improve your diet. Eat foods rich in protein, calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone health.
  • Ask your doctor what exercises you can do before surgery. Regular exercise can improve your overall fitness and help you recover faster after surgery.

On the day of surgery.

  • Do not eat or drink a few hours before the procedure.
  • Take any medications your doctor has prescribed for you.
  • Dress in comfortable clothes that are easy to remove.
  • Go to the hospital an hour before surgery.

Follow all of your doctor's instructions. This will help ensure the safest and most successful surgery possible.

The Joint Fusion or Replacement Procedure

Arthrodesis and joint replacement procedures are important surgical interventions aimed at restoring ankle joint function.


Foot or ankle arthrodesis is a surgical procedure in which two or more joint bones are fused together to form a single bone. This results in limited joint mobility, but eliminates pain and improves stability.

Surgical intervention:

  • The surgeon makes an incision in the skin above the joint.
  • The damaged cartilage and bone are removed.
  • The bones of the joint are fixed in the correct position with screws, pins or plates.
  • The incision is sutured.

Arthrodesis techniques:

  • Subtalar: used to connect the talus and heel bones.
  • Talus and navicular: used to connect the talus and navicular bones.
  • Heel and navicular: this surgical technique is used to join the heel and navicular bones.
  • Triple arthrodesis: used to fuse the talus, navicular and calcaneus bones.


  • Screws: to fix the bones in the correct position.
  • Pins: fixation of larger bones.
  • Plates: used to fix more complex fractures or to provide additional support.

Joint replacement

A foot or ankle joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which a damaged joint is replaced with an artificial implant. The implant can be made of metal, plastic or ceramic.

Surgical intervention

  • The surgeon makes an incision in the skin above the joint.
  • The damaged cartilage and bone are removed.
  • The bone surfaces are prepared for implantation.
  • The implant is inserted into the bone.
  • The incision is sutured.


  • Total ankle joint replacement: all bone surfaces of the ankle joint are replaced.
  • Subtalar joint replacement: surgery to replace only the subtalar joint, which is located between the talus and heel bones.
  • First metatarsal arthroplasty: only the first metatarsal joint, which is between the foot and shin, is replaced.


  • Implants: metal, plastic or ceramic.
  • Cement: for fixing the implant to the bone.

The type of technique and materials used will depend on the individual patient and the severity of the joint pathology.

At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, our leading podiatric surgeon, Dr. Alex Yanovsky, DPM utilizes the most advanced techniques and materials to ensure the best results for our patients.

Recovery and Aftercare

The recovery period can vary depending on the type of surgery, the individual patient and the condition of the joint.

Usually, the first few weeks after surgery are characterized by limited mobility and wearing a cast or orthosis.

Full recovery and return to daily activities can take several months to a year, depending on the complexity of the surgery and individual factors.

Care recommendations

  • After discharge from the hospital, patients are advised to follow the surgeon's instructions regarding the care of the operated area.
  • This may include regular wound treatments, wearing a compression bandage or plaster cast, and maintaining an elevated posture to reduce swelling.
  • It is important to watch for any signs of infection or complications and report them to your surgeon promptly.


Rehabilitation exercises play an important role in restoring joint mobility and strength after surgery.

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises help restore muscle tone, improve coordination and restore normal range of motion.
  • Patients are advised to follow an individually designed rehabilitation program under the guidance of a licensed physical therapist.

At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, we provide our patients with a full range of medical support through all stages of recovery, with careful monitoring and individualized care. Our goal is to ensure optimal results and maximize our patients' comfort during their recovery.

Why Choose Our Clinic?

Choosing a reliable clinic for arthrodesis or joint replacement surgery is critical to ensuring a successful outcome and comfortable recovery. At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest level of care, including the following benefits:

  1. Expertise and experience.
  2. Personalized approach.
  3. Modern equipment.
  4. Effective Operational Techniques.
  5. A comprehensive rehabilitation program.
  6. Support during all stages of recovery.

Opt for Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic and you will receive high-quality, effective treatment. Our phone number is (847) 298-3338, Des Plaines.

Contact Us

Have any questions? Reach out to us from our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

1400 East Golf Rd, Unit 201, Des Plaines, IL 60016

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