By the time afflicted individuals present for surgery, they usually have little motion left in their arthritic joints and have adapted to living without the motion.
In a posterolateral spinal fusion, the disc is not disturbed.
Two different techniques may be used to fuse the two ends of the bones that originally formed the joint.
In both techniques, the surgeon makes an incision over the area to be treated and removes the joint surface (cartilage) on the bones on both sides of the joint, allowing for direct bone-to-bone contact, increasing the contact area and encouraging bone formation.
Relative to outcome, arthrodesis is performed to enable individuals to return to improved productivity.
The technique of the arthrodesis procedure varies according to its site (wrist, ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder joints), although in general, arthrodesis is performed with the individual under general or regional anesthesia and with the joint (two bones) placed in a position that is conducive to function.