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What are the possible disadvantages of foot and ankle surgery?

There are some possible disadvantages to foot and ankle surgery:

  • Replacement joints aren’t as hard-wearing or long-lasting as natural joints.
  • Some operations restrict joint movement (although this doesn’t mean that it’ll reduce your mobility).
  • You may not be able to use your foot properly for some time after the operation (for example, you may need to keep weight off your foot for three months after an ankle fusion). This can be a particular problem if you’re likely to have problems getting around using crutches.
  • Occasionally small nerves around the cut in your skin (the incision) can be damaged, leading to patches of numbness.
  • There can be complications during surgery, for example swelling, stiffness or infection.
  • In some cases where bones are joined (fused) together, the bones can take longer to fuse together than expected and you won’t be able to use your foot properly during this time. Occasionally a non-union occurs – where the fusion doesn’t work properly – and you may need further surgery.


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