Participation in sports after arthrodesis of the foot or ankle.
Currently no data or guidelines exist for the surgeon on how to advise patients about returning to sports participation after arthrodesis within the foot or ankle. Sequelae of inappropriate activity after arthrodesis includes periarticular arthrosis, arthrodesis failure and stress fracture. Some arthrodeses will preclude certain sports because it limits the patient's ability to perform movement vital to the game, for example, ankle arthrodesis preventing basketball players from jumping. Questionnaires were sent to members of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and to trainers of professional basketball and American football teams. This paper reports on the responses of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons about return to sports participation, after arthrodeses within the foot and ankle, and suggests guidelines for sports participation after an arthrodesis of the lower extremity. A selective sports participation policy is advised. Patients with an ankle or triple fusion should avoid high-impact sports, while those with more distal arthrodeses should be monitored for arthrosis and stress fracture.
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