What is Triple Arthrodesis?

When arthritis affects the bones of the hindfoot (the talus, navicular, calcaneus, and cuboid bones), these four bones may require a procedure in which all of these bones are glued together to create one solid bone mass for stability of the foot, correction of deformity, and pain relief. There are many reasons that a triple arthrodesis (fusion of the hindfoot bones) may be necessary. These include severe dysfunction of the tendons of the foot, such as the posterior tibial tendon, which in late stages results in severe deformity and arthritis, inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis), arthritis after previous fractures of bones of the hindfoot, and other conditions. In these scenarios, the ankle joint may or may not be involved and requires its own separate treatment.

Triple Arthrodesis Surgery

The procedure involves incisions on the inside and outside of the ankle and foot; preparation of the joint surfaces for fusion and healing; and the placement of a combination of screws, plates, staples, or other orthopaedic devices to hold the bones while they are healing. After surgery, patients are casted for approximately 6 weeks, followed by weight bearing in a boot walker for 6 weeks. After this, patients usually can return to a regular shoe, and aggressive physical therapy is necessary to strengthen the foot and ankle.

Triple Arthrodesis Recovery

The bones of the hindfoot work together to provide the side to side motion of the foot. After this procedure, limitation of side to side motion results, but up and down motion of the ankle and foot is preserved. Walking on flat, even surfaces usually can be performed without difficulty;  however, walking on uneven surfaces such as rocky trails or a beach may be difficult.

Consult With an Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Specialist in Chicagoland

Dr. Vora is skilled in this procedure and has lectured and published on this treatment for conditions of the foot and ankle. Dr. Vora has also helped develop a specific implant that works as a hybrid of a plate and staple to assist in getting the bones to heal properly that is commonly utilized for the treatment of this condition across the country. If you are experiencing symptoms of triple arthrodesis, please call 847-247-4000 or fill out our contact for to schedule your consultation.

For more on this condition, also see:
Talus fractures
Calcaneus fractures
Subtalar arthrodesis