Arthrodesis is simply defined as the fusion of a joint. Indications for arthrodesis are arthritis that is no longer responsive to medications, fractures that cannot otherwise be repaired, hyperextension injuries, shearing injuries and Achilles’ tendon injuries when other means of repair have failed.

Carpal fusionThe carpus or wrist is the joint most commonly presented for a fusion. Although technically challenging, this procedure has minimal complications. Most patients are able to return to normal function with a slightly altered gait. The tarsus or ankle joint and the stifle joints are also able to be fused, but these are performed less often because they are much more difficult and the final outcome is not always ideal. Healing is slower and there is a higher incidence of a joint that is not functionally normal.