While ankle fusion surgery does change how a person walks, with appropriate care and shoes, most people do not limp, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Patients are able to walk long distances, work in physically demanding jobs, hike and ski. However, running is not recommended.
An ankle that is fused does not have the same up-and-down movement as an ankle that is not fused, states the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Other joint movements in the foot are not affected. Approximately 90 percent of ankle fusion surgeries result in a successful fusion. When fusion does not occur, a second surgery to place a bone graft is often needed.