Driving after Ankle Fusion

Driving after ankle fusion is something that’s different for practically everyone who undergoes the procedure. Generally, it takes about eight to twelve weeks to rest after ankle fusion surgery. Then, patients typically wear a cast or a boot, depending in the circumstances. Altogether, it can take as little as four months or as much as six months to recover.

Clearly, the foot and ankle are a big part of safely operating a vehicle. It takes coordination to properly work the accelerator and the brake. Since ankle fusion brings the bones together, mobility is usually more limited. This, not to mention the fact wearing an immobilization device makes it much more difficult if not impossible to operate a motor vehicle.

Driving after ankle fusion will take a considerable amount of time. Even if all goes well with the surgery, and the recovery period thereafter, there might not be enough flexibility to comfortably drive. 

In fact, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons warns doctors and patients alike to delay driving after ankle surgery for these very reasons. Research has found by measuring braking during emergencies people who’ve had ankle surgery are more impaired when wearing an apparatus. In other words, a big, heavy boot or cast causes a lot of difficulty to apply the brakes, particularly in an emergency situation.

Anyone who undergoes ankle fusion surgery should speak with their doctor about when it’s an appropriate time to begin driving again. The time will vary from person