Flat Foot Surgery
Flat feet can cause pain, arthritis and tendon degeneration and is something that should be treated from an early age. If your flat foot pain is affecting your quality of life on a daily basis your New York foot doctor may recommend flat foot surgery. The goal of flat foot surgery is to create an arch in the foot and realign your center of gravity to a functionally optimal position. This type of surgery has a long recovery period and conservative care should always be attempted first. So before you opt for surgery, talk with the best podiatrist in NYC, Dr. Sophia Solomon, about non-surgical or conservative treatments that may improve your condition. Non-surgical treatments you may try prior to surgery include:
- Shoe inserts
- Physical therapy
All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
How to Tell if You Need Surgery
If you have flat feet, you may have felt symptoms of foot and ankle pain even when participating in normal daily activities. You may have had difficulty walking or running and notice unusual patterns of wear on your shoes. If you have used orthotics or bracing with little success and if you are unable to stand on your toes without pain then surgical correction by your New York City foot doctor may be recommended.
A good podiatrist in NYC will perform a thorough examination of your foot. The surgical evaluation usually will include a thorough medical history and x-rays. An MRI may be utilized if tendon involvement is suspected.
When to Avoid Surgery
If you take steroids or have a disease like diabetes, you should be evaluated by your primary care doctor before considering a surgical procedure for flat foot. These conditions may prevent you from being a candidate for a surgical option. If you have blood clots, wound problems, obesity issues and/or smoking addictions, you may be at a higher risk for complications from surgery.
Be aware that a complete recovery from flat foot surgery can take 6 months or more. If you’re not able or willing to accept the recovery process during this length of time, surgery may not be an option for you. You have to weigh the benefits of the surgery against your commitment to the process.
Details of Flat Foot Surgery
Flat foot surgery consists of a set of procedures that repair the tendons and ligaments supporting your arch. The procedure may also improve the shape and function of your arch. The procedure is broken up into several categories that repair your tendons and ligaments or correct deformities of the bones (or both). Your NYC foot doctor will discuss which combination of procedures fit your condition.
A good podiatrist in New York City will typically perform the procedure under general or regional anesthesia.
Ligament and Tendon Procedures
If you have flat feet, the tendon that runs under your foot, called the posterior tibial tendon, is typically stretched and not functioning properly. If this tendon is thickened, torn or atrophied, it may require surgery. Your foot doctor can remove the thickened portion of the tendon, repair the tear or perform a tendon transfer depending on your issue
Stresses that cause flat foot can tear the ligaments supporting the arch, also known as the spring ligament. Stresses can also tear the deltoid ligament on the inside of the ankle. Your foot doctor determines the proper course of treatment to repair these ligaments, depending on how badly they are damaged. A tight Achilles tendon can cause flat foot, too. This can be treated surgically by a process that lengthens the muscular fibers in your calf.
When Fusion Is Required
In advanced stages of flat foot, deformities to the foot is often stiff and inflexible. Some may also be arthritic. These cases are severe and may require a surgical fusion of the joints in your foot. This surgery is called a double arthrodesis or a triple arthrodesis, depending on whether two or three joints are fused. A good NYC podiatrist can recognize when your condition is severe and in need of a fusion.
In rare cases, additional surgery may be required to address certain conditions, including:
- Bones that don’t heal properly
- Joint replacement parts are defective or have come loose
- Bones that heal in the wrong position — the bones may have to be re-broken to heal correctly
- Removing pins or screws to alleviate pain
Aftercare and Recovery
Flat foot surgery is often an outpatient procedure done by a NYC podiatrist, so you can go home the same day as the surgery. It is unusual for you to have to stay overnight for additional monitoring. Your foot doctor in New York generally would put your leg in a cast or splint and instruct you to elevate it for the first couple of weeks after surgery.
After two to three weeks of elevation and healing, the stitches are removed by your NYC foot doctor. You can’t place any weight on your foot for about eight weeks after the operation.
If healing is on track, your doctor usually allows you to place weight on the foot in a protective boot around the 2 month mark. Crutches or a cane may be recommended for stability until you get used to walking again. Usually around 10-12 weeks you can begin to walk without the boot but physical therapy is necessary to regain strength and balance lost during the long recovery. Following the surgery and recovery period, the podiatric doctor will still need to evaluate you every few months since a major reconstructive procedure has been performed.
Any type of surgery has complications associated with it. Potential flat foot complications are pain, damage to arteries and nerves, infection, blood clots and bleeding. Additional complications may occur from the wound healing process and will be discussed prior to the procedure. You can usually avoid complications with proper wound treatment and rehabilitation.
Contact your New York foot doctor if you experience pain or discomfort from the cast or boot following surgery. If you cannot contact your foot doctor please visit the nearest emergency room if any complications present. Flat foot surgery may improve how your foot looks cosmetically, although the primary goal is to improve functionality while reducing pain.
After the healing process and physical therapy, you should be able to return to an lifestyle of walking, driving and biking. However, more strenuous activities like running and jumping may still cause some pain. Consult a best NYC podiatrist Dr. Sophia Solomon before you undertake any strenuous activity following your flat foot surgery.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Flat Foot Surgery or correction procedure in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Sophia Solomon of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Sophia Solomon, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 389-9918