I actually wept when I read this; someone understands what I went through. I had an ankle fusion twelve years ago, it was the result of traumatic damage from a trimalleolar fracture. Every word Cheri says in this article is exactly what I went through and how I felt. My friends were horrible about it, they did not, could not, understand at all how bad the pain was, how shocking it was to get used to and how in the beginning, I also felt that an amputation would have been a better option. It took a solid year to get to the point where I was seeing improvements and feeling good. I have been great for twelve years but now I am backsliding on the pain and mobility again. I have experienced a lot of issues of late with gait, lower back pain, and hips, and now extreme pain in the fused ankle which is totally new. I am so glad Cheri mentioned the hip issues are a common reaction and now I know to go start some PT and get a routine and not to worry that it is something else or something worse. Being a New Yorker and not wearing heels stinks, but, being a New Yorker who could not walk was worse. This article has helped to remind me to be proactive about preventing more damage. Thank you Cheri and best wishes to you, and to all of the other fixed ankle folks out there.