For years, ankle arthrodesis has been seen as the only solution for ankle arthrosis.
Nowadays we know that there is another valid alternative, which is ankle prosthesis. Howewer, it is good to ask yourself about the results these surgeries may lead to.

Exactly because ankle arthrosis especially affects young patients, the first question to be asked is whether a patient may yearn for continuing his sports and recreational activities at the same intensity as before.

In the past, people believed indeed that only arthrodesis could have been appropriate for a young patient and that it should have let them keep playing high-impact sports as well (although with some restrictions).

Arthrodesis restrictions.

Howewer, in these cases, the real problem is not the already-blocked ankle, but the articular overload which all the other and various foot joints are exposed to.
Undoubtedly, it is also necessary to take into account all the difficulties correlated with biomechanics alterations: a fused ankle does not always lead the patient to walk with a limp, but it will surely not facilitate it from a biomechanical point of view: this is even more true when we talk about sports activities.
So, in the event of ankle fusion, the real problem remains the articular overload which translates to arthrosis of the near and, before the fusion, sane joints.
The organism, in fact, can compensate for an arthrosic joint, hardly two or more than two; in these cases, in fact, scientific literature has clearly explained that oxygen consumption, therefore a fatigue while walking, are truly high. The result is a severe deficiency in patients.

Ankle prosthesis at a young age.

These are the reasons why it is logical to suggest a prosthesis to a young patient affected by ankle arthrosis who shows severe functional and relational deficiencies.

Doing high-impact sports should not be the motivation that may lead a patient to the surgical choice. Nevertheless, being involved in sports with a prosthesis is often possible.

I will quote the following lines, taken from one of our latest articles which was published on a medical magazine, a leader in our field:

Ankle prosthesis has become an always more popular procedure used to treat symptomatic and recalcitrant ankle arthrosis, but rarely surgeons tend towards physical activities and recommendations about the performed sports activity.
Our studies suggest that ankle prosthesis is a better choice than arthrodesis, especially in very active individuals. This consideration derives from patients’ perception and, more objectively, from the reduction of stress the prosthesis inflicts on near joints.