The typical recovery time for an ankle fusion procedure is from 12 to 16 weeks, depending on how well the bones fuse together, according to Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Most patients are not permitted to put weight on the foot for 8 to 12 weeks following surgery.
Immediately following surgery, the ankle is wrapped with a padded plaster cast that is ultimately replaced with a short-leg cast after two weeks. Most patients must wear the short-leg cast for 8 to 12 weeks and use crutches. Approximately 12 weeks after surgery, an ankle brace replaces the cast if x-rays show healthy progress. Once the fusion is strong enough, patients can put weight on the foot when walking, often with the aid of a physical therapist.