Natural alternatives to foot fusion surgery are orthotics or casts, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This keeps weight off the foot until it has time to heal.
Alternatives to foot fusion surgery depends on the severity of the injury, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If the foot joints are not fractured or dislocated, and the ligaments and tendons are not injured, then a cast is put on the foot for up to six weeks. A patient needs to keep all weight off the injured foot during this period. As the foot heals, the cast is replaced by a cast boot. During follow-up appointments, the doctor takes X-rays of the foot to ensure that it is healing properly.
Fusion is performed if the foot undergoes severe damage in the joints and ligaments, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. For instance, a ruptured ligament can require a foot fusion. During this process, the damaged bones are fused or joined together so that they cannot operate individually. Fusion is also used to correct flatfoot or arch collapse, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. It can also be used to treat arthritis and joint pain in the foot, states the Arthritis Foundation.