What is the subtalar joint?
The subtalar joint is a joint of the foot that connects the ankle and the heel. The bony components of the ankle joint include the peripheral tibia, peripheral fibre and talus. In addition, the subtalar joint is prone to arthritis, especially if there is a history of sprain or fracture.
What are the symptoms of arthritis of the subtalar joint?
Pain when walking
Difficulty walking on uneven surfaces
Limited range of motion of the joint
What is arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis?
Arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis is a surgical procedure. A qualified orthopaedic surgeon will examine, diagnose and treat the problems of the subtalar joint.
Who is arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis for?
This procedure is indicated for the following cases, as it can provide immediate relief for the patient:
Traumatic osteoarthritis with rheumatoid arthritis
Acquired flat feet
What are the advantages of arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis?
Arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis has a success rate of over 90%. More specifically, its advantages include:
Fewer complications compared to open surgery
Shorter healing time
Simpler post-operative course
What are the risks of arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis?
In any type of surgery there can be complications. But with the help of a skilled orthopedic surgeon, the chances of complications are almost zero. Among others, although rare, the following complications may occur:
Infection Infection, infection, stiffness
Difficulty in healing
What is the preparation for arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis?
The specialist orthopaedic surgeon will ask for the patient’s medical history and proceed with a physical examination. Subsequently, the patient will undergo imaging examinations, namely X-ray and CT scan.
In addition, it is recommended that the patient should have a familiar person at home to assist the patient. Of course, in consultation with the doctor, the patient may be asked to stop taking certain medications, supplements, foods and fluids. Usually, a few hours or days before surgery, the patient should follow these instructions.
How is arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis performed?
It is a surgical procedure performed under general or local anesthesia. Then, the specialist orthopaedic surgeon will make small incisions in order to insert the special instruments.
This will remove the cartilage from the articular surfaces. The ankle and heel are then returned to their normal position. Finally, two cannulated screws will be inserted into the heel and ankle. Of course, in some cases, bone grafts will be placed for rapid healing.
What happens after the surgery?
The patient may experience some stiffness in the leg, but then the pain ceases. At the same time, in order to avoid any complications, it is recommended to be hospitalized for a day in the hospital.
Also, some physiotherapy may be needed. However, the stitches are cut 15 days after the surgery. Finally, discharge and use of a shin splint is required for about 4 – 6 weeks.
The specialist orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Antonios Pettas, has many years of experience in Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, with a multitude of successful surgical procedures. He is also a member of the AO Trauma Foundation (World Association of Traumatology). For a personalized diagnosis and treatment, contact him.