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Flat Foot Surgery
If your foot is misaligned due to flat feet, your New York foot doctor may recommend flat foot correction surgery, also known as osteotomy. Realigning your feet lets you stand and walk normally. The procedure relieves the pressures that made your feet flat and uncomfortable. Successful flat foot reconstruction surgery results in less pain and an improved gait.
Surgery is always a last-case scenario. So before you opt for surgery, talk with a best podiatrist in NYC, Dr. Jennifer McCoy 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 ankle pain even when participating in normal daily activities. You may have had difficulty walking or running as well. Surgical correction of a collapsed arch is conducted by your New York City foot doctor only if you have arches that are still flexible and not stiff.
A good podiatrist in NYC may refer you to an orthopedic foot surgeon who conducts a thorough examination of your foot. The surgical evaluation usually includes a visual exam, a thorough medical history and X-rays.
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 up to a year. If you’re not able or willing to accept the recovery process or duration, surgery isn’t 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. An incision in the bone 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 and an orthopedic surgeon discuss which combination of procedures fit your condition.
A good podiatrist in New York City may use regional anesthesia, which can be a spinal or nerve block to numb your ankle and foot. General anesthesia, which knocks you out for the procedure, is the alternative. If you receive a nerve block, it’s usually behind the knee to reduce the pain after your surgery.
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 thicker than normal or torn, it may require surgery. The tendon that helps bend your little toes can be rerouted in surgery to help support the posterior tibial tendon.
Stresses that cause flat foot can tear the ligament 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’re damaged. A tightening of your Achilles tendon can cause flat foot, too. This can be treated surgically by a process that stretches the muscular fibers in your calf.
When Fusion Is Required
In advanced stages of flat foot, deformities to the foot are 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. Any good NYC podiatrist in can tell you if you have a severe condition that requires 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 even 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’s unusual for you to have to stay overnight for additional monitoring. Your foot doctor in New York puts your leg in a cast or splint, and you have 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. A removable boot or new case replaces your cast or splint. You can’t place any weight on your foot for about eight weeks after the operation.
You can walk with crutches or a cane after the eight-week mark. You make progress until you can put your full weight on the foot around 10 to 12 weeks. After the 12-week mark, you can usually start wearing shoes. At this point, a podiatric doctor prescribes ankle braces and inserts, and you can begin physical therapy.
Any type of surgery has complications associated with it. Potential flat foot complications may arise from the anesthesia procedure, damage to blood and nerves, infection, blood clots and bleeding. Additional complications may occur from the wound healing process. You can usually avoid complications with proper wound treatment and rehabilitation.
See your New York foot doctor if you experience pain or discomfort from the cast or boot you were given after surgery. Generally speaking, the complications for flat foot surgery are low compared to other surgeries. 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 active lifestyle, including activities like walking, driving and biking. However, more strenuous activities like running and jumping might still cause some pain. Consult a best NYC podiatrist Dr. Jennifer McCoy before you undertake any strenuous activity after 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. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 687-2930