Stapedectomy: A stapedectomy is a surgical procedure of the middle ear performed in order to improve hearing. If the stapes footplate is fixed in position, rather than being normally mobile, then a conductive hearing loss results. There are two major causes of stapes fixation. The first is a disease process of abnormal mineralization of the temporal bone called otosclerosis. The second is a congenital malformation of the stapes.
In both of these situations, it is possible to improve hearing by removing the stapes bone and replacing it with a micro prosthesis – a stapedectomy, or creating a small hole in the fixed stapes footplate and inserting a tiny, piston-like prosthesis – a stapedotomy. The results of this surgery are generally most reliable in patients whose stapes has lost mobility because of otosclerosis.