Who said you can’t do sports after an Ankle Fusion?

November 1, 2016

One of the questions I get asked most often from patients with severe ankle arthritis is “will I be able to do sports after a fusion?”. Many are surprised when I say that they should be able to. An ankle fusion is an excellent operation with regards to pain relief and improvement in function.

You don’t have to take my word for it, here is what a patient of mine has to say about his bilateral ankle fusions.

My New Ankle Joints!

By mid 2014 my ankle joints on both feet had become severely damaged by arthritis after a lifetime of playing sports such as running, football, squash and tennis. The ankle bones had grown grotesquely out of shape to compensate for the arthritic damage.

On consultation, Mr Malik recommended ankle fusions on both feet. In October 2014 I underwent the first procedure on my right ankle and after eight weeks of non-weight bearing, and rigorously following his recuperation instructions, I moved on to an air cast boot for four weeks duration. Three months after the operation I was walking normally again without assistance.

A month later in February 2015, I underwent the same procedure for the other ankle. In many ways, the recuperation period was harder with this one, as there could be a tendency to cut corners. The temptation resisted, I  subsequently proceeded to undergo physiotherapy under a professional recommended by Mr Malik, and commenced swimming and then low impact activity like cycling. By August  2015, I was playing tennis again and by October, 2015 exactly a year after the first operation, I felt I was back to my best. 12 months later, I get no pains or aches from either ankle and at the age of 58 I am playing the best tennis of my life, with absolutely no restriction to my movements.


I would highly recommend Mr Malik, and the ankle fusion procedure he conducted on me, but I really would really like  to emphasise the importance of following to the letter his post operation instructions.

Warren Lomax November 2016

Playing tennis after having both ankles fused

Playing tennis after having both ankles fused

If you have an ankle injury, and would like to have a consultation with our orthopaedic surgeon, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can book an appointment online, or you can call us at 0203 7956053.

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Steve F

Hey Sean. I had a pretty horrific motorcycle crash some years ago, leaving my left talus / ankle in many pieces. It was put back together, but is now at the stage where the pain and limited movement point to an ankle fusion. I seems such a final step in the fight to keep active, and was very worried it would be very restricting. It’s great to hear stories of people who, with determination, carry on with active lifestyles. Well done mate.


I’ve just been told that I need either an ankle replacement or fusion due to having a avascular necrosis of the talus bone. My head tells me the ankle replacement would be the better option but after reading your amazing story / recovery, I really don’t which route to take !!!

Nick Thwaits

Hi, I am judo instructor/player and PT. shattered my ankle (tibia) last year, then had the pins removed as my body rejected them and still in a lot of pain with early stage arthritis, We are looking at ankle fusion and delighted to hear of your recovery. I wonder if I could fight again?


Thank you for sharing your recovery as it is very inspirational. I was in a serious car accident 13 months ago where I shattered my talus bone. When I shattered my talus bone they had to remove the first half of it. I lost an inch of length on my right leg due to the removal of the front half of my talus bone. I had an ankle fusion on my right ankle 20 weeks ago. Followed by having my right leg in a external fixator where I turn 4 knobs 4x a day to lengthen my right leg. The surgery for the leg lengthening was 4 wks ago and have been turning my 4 knobs on my external fixator for 15 days now to reach an inch so my right leg matches my left leg. I'm also a CPT and look forward to getting back to my active lifestyle that I had before this car accident happened 13 mths prior. It's been a long road and the light at the end of the tunnel is near. 🙂 -November 2019


I have just been told I have severe bone degradation (arthritis) in my ankle. I am a climber and work as a personal trainer so to hear about your recovery from fusion op has made my day. Well done you

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