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Fusion:

The permanent joining together of two bones which normally articulate upon each other as a joint. Bone is stimlated to grow across the joint space from both sides by removing all cartilage lining the joint and exposing the bleeding inner surface of the bone. These surfaces are then compressed (usually by placing screws across them). This compression can hold the ideal position as fusion is occurring and the compressive force also stimulates the process. The time taken for fusions to knit together soundly varies. A big toe (MTP) joint will on average require 6 weeks compared to twelve weeks for an ankle. Once fusion is complete the two bones are effectively one bone. Fusion is a common procedure for arthritis and results in the loss of movement of the joint.

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