Joint stiffening / arthrodesis

Joint stiffening operations are carried out in order to relieve pain caused by joint instability or severe arthrosis if the joint cannot be treated with a prosthesis for any reason. This procedure is known in medical parlance as arthrodesis.

We carry out arthrodesis surgery very often on shoulder, finger, ankle and toe joints because we generally want to keep the joint mobile. During these operations, we fuse the parts of the joints with screws and metal plates so that they knit together, preventing any further movement within the joint itself. This puts a stop to the pain on movement and weight bearing.

However, we only use arthrodesis as a last resort. Prior to this procedure, a very detailed consultation is held since not only will it no longer be possible to move the joint after the operation, but the procedure is also irreversible.

Treatment details

Duration of treatment:

depends on the joint in question and can be between 1 and 2 hours

In-patient stay:

4 – 8 days

Protection time:

6 – 8 weeks


rarely required

Time off work:

approx. 2 weeks


depends on the location of the arthrodesis