When flat feet cause pain, Surgical Flat Foot Correction can help.
Flat foot is a condition in which the arch along the inside of the foot collapses so that the entire sole of the foot touches the floor. In some patients, the arch never develops properly during childhood. In others, the arches flatten out because of injury or wear and tear.
- Flat foot is typically a painless and symptomless condition
- If the condition causes pain or interferes with activities, surgical correction may be needed
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Who is a Candidate
Surgery to correct flat feet is considered if a patient still experiences pain after a trial of conservative, non-invasive treatments, including:
Surgical reconstruction is most effective with the arch is still flexible. Patients who are obese, smoke, have diabetes, or take oral steroids should consult their primary doctor since they are at increased risk of post-surgical complications.
Surgical Techniques to Correct Flat Feet
- Medializing Calcaneal Osteotomy
This technique is typically used when the heel bone has shifted out of alignment with the leg. The procedure involves cutting the back half of the heel bone so that it can be repositioned. A metal plate or screws are then used to secure the bone into place.
- Lateral Column Lengthening
This technique is used in patients who have an outward rotation of the foot. The procedure involves cutting the front half of the heel bone in order to insert a bone wedge that is then secured with pins or a plate. This helps to lengthen the heel bone so that the foot is rotated back into the correct position.
- First Tarsal-Metatarsal Fusion or Medial Cuneiform Dorsal Opening Wedge Osteotomy
These procedures are used when the arch collapse raises the inside of the foot off of the ground. These techniques involve manually realigning the bones or using a bone wedge to push the bones of the foot toward the floor. Once in their proper position, screws or a plate are used to secure the bones in the proper position.
- Procedures Involving the Tendons and Ligaments
When the arch collapses, extra stress is placed on the ligaments and tendons of the foot and ankle. Surgery may be necessary to repair or reposition these structures.
If the condition has progressed to the point that the arch is stiff, one or more of the foot joints may need to be fused to correct the deformity.
What to Expect
The surgery is performed using a nerve block, spinal block, or general anesthesia. Most patients are released the same day. Patients should not put any weight on the affected foot for up to eight weeks, and a cast or boot is typically worn for up to three months following the surgery. Full recovery may take up to a year.