Reasons for Procedure
- After a failed knee replacement
- In patients with chronic joint infections that have led to severe knee damage
- In patients with debilitating pain that cannot be resolved by other treatment options
|Joint Damage Due to Arthritis|
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- Excess bleeding
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Loosening of components in patients with poor bone quality
- The thigh and shin bones do not join together as expected
- Some chronic diseases, like obesity or diabetes
- Heavy alcohol use
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests, like x-rays or scans
- Electrocardiogram for heart function
- Have you donate blood in case you need a transfusion
- Prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection
- Arrange for a ride home.
- Arrange for help at home while you recover.
- Talk to your doctor about any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking.
- Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have.
- Ask your doctor about devices you will need after the surgery like a wheelchair, walker, or cane.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Pain medication
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Medication that prevents blood clots
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on sitting, bending, or sleeping positions.
- Continue with your physical therapist’s exercise program.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection such as fever or chills
- Problems at the incision site such as redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, or draining
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain that does not go away with the pain medication you have been given
- Numbness or tingling in the lower leg
- Chest pain or trouble breathing
Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Bono James, Talmo Carl, et al. Arthrodesis of the Knee: Indications and Treatment Options. Techniques in Knee Surgery. 2009;8(4):212-215.
Fusion (arthrodesis). Knee 1 website. Available at: http://www.knee1.com/Education%5FCenter/Therapies/Fusion%5FArthrodesis. Updated October 26 Updated October 26, 2001. Accessed March 4, 2015.
Joint revision surgery—When do I need it? American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons OrthoInfo website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00510. Updated September 2007. Accessed March 4, 2015.
Knee Arthrodesis. Bone and Spine website. Available at: http://boneandspine.com/knee-arthrodesis. Accessed March 4, 2015.
Knee dusion. Knee Guru website. Available at: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/node/1844. Updated September 2, 2008. Accessed March 4, 2015.
Knee Fusion for Irretrievably Failed Total Knee Replacement. About Joints website. Available at: http://aboutjoints.com/physicianinfo/topics/fusionknee/kneefusion.htm. Accessed March 4, 2015.
Surgical site infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 15, 2014. Accessed March 4, 2015.
Talmo CT, Bono JV, et al. Intramedullary Arthrodesis of the Knee in the Treatment of Sepsis after TKR. HSS J. 2007;3(1):83-88.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/24/2013 -