Stapes surgery can improve conductive hearing. This surgery is done to replace all or part of a damaged (fixated) stapes bone. You will be given general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation during surgery. The surgery takes about 1 to 2 hours.
A diseased stapes bone
The stapes bone may become affected by otosclerosis, an inherited middle ear disease. The disease creates spongy bone tissue. The tissue grows and hardens around the footplate (the part of the stapes that touches the inner ear). Hearing loss may result.
The first step of stapes surgery is removing the crura. This is the part of the stapes that touches the footplate. Your surgeon reaches the crura by going through the ear canal. An incision is made around the eardrum. The eardrum is held to one side. Then the crura is removed.
The second step is preparing the diseased footplate for bone replacement. This will let sound vibrations reach the inner ear again. Your surgeon may make a hole in the footplate with a laser or drill. This is called a stapedotomy. Or all of the footplate may be removed and replaced with tissue. This is called a stapedectomy.
The third step is replacing the crura. A manmade part (called a prosthesis) is attached to the incus bone. The prosthesis transmits sound waves to the inner ear. There are many types of prostheses. They are most often made of metal, plastic, or your own tissue. Some may use more than one of these materials.
As with any surgery, this surgery has risks. You may still have some hearing loss that remains after surgery. In rare cases, the surgery can make hearing loss worse. Talk with your healthcare provider about any complications that this surgery has.