A person is in a plaster cast for a minimum of six to eight weeks after a subtalar joint fusion, a procedure performed to ease chronic pain in cases of foot arthritis, according to George Lian, MD. The timeframe, however, depends on how fast healing occurs.
Subtalar joint fusion is an orthopedic surgery on the subtalar joint, which is located between the talus and calcaneus bones in the foot, says George Lian, MD. Arthritis or inflammation of the joint causes chronic pain, and to ease the pain, the subtalar joint fusion surgery is performed. A general or spinal anaesthetic is injected and cartilage from the joint removed. During the procedure, a hole is drilled through the two bones and a screw is inserted to limit movement. Bone casts may be used to fill the cavities formed after that.
The patient is released from hospital for seven to 10 days, after which the cast has to be changed, and a new cast is put on for a minimum six weeks, states the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The cast is applied to limit movement along the joints and allow adequate bone healing. An X-ray will be used to assess the joint. The joint, however, takes seven to nine months to heal completely.