A stapedectomy is ear surgery that can be done to treat hearing loss caused by a problem called otosclerosis. Otosclerosis causes a build-up of bone around the stapes (stirrup bone). The build-up of bone keeps the stapes from moving normally, resulting in a type of hearing loss called conductive hearing loss. The surgery is done to replace the stapes with an artificial part. After the surgery, sound can again be transmitted from the eardrum to the inner ear. This surgery can restore normal hearing in more than 90% of cases.
This operation is used when the main cause of a hearing loss is decreased movement of the stapes (otosclerosis). If both ears have this problem, the ear with worse hearing is treated first.
Not everyone with otosclerosis needs this surgery. Sometimes the hearing loss is not bad enough to require surgery. Sometimes people choose a hearing aid to help their hearing instead of surgery. In some cases the surgery may be done to allow better use of a hearing aid.