I am a 25 y/o F who opted for flat-foot reconstruction after losing what I consider normal mobility because of congenital abnormalities and resulting secondary issues.
I have always had large awkward looking feet but used them normally until about 3 years ago. I have an accessory navicular bone that has caused or contributed to a severe pronation in both of my feet. The most immediate secondary issue because of my mis-shapen feet is a moderately stretched and dysfunctional PTT. I have also fallen victim to bunions on both feet and the beginning of hammertoe formation on toes 2-5 of both feet.
After doing much research, visiting multiple podiatrists and one orthopaedic doctor, I opted to take the risk of having reconstructive surgery. I had surgery this past Monday on my left foot and when I am able to wear a shoe on this foot will undergo surgery on my right foot.
Here is a list of the procedures that were done on my left foot:
1: Removal of accessory navicular bone with PTT tendon advancement (effective shortening/repositioning of the tendon so that when my foot is healed, the tendon should be able to support a small functional arch in my foot)
2: Lengthening of the achilles tendon (simply to offset the tightening of the PTT and allow a normal motion of the foot)
3: Insertion of an STJ (sub-talar joint) implant in the sinus tarsi (this is not typically a possibility for adults with flat feet unless the flat foot is very flexible). This implant will hold my foot in a more neutral position by acting as a "door stopper" and not allowing my foot to collapse into a flat position.
4: Tenectomies in toes 2-5 to alleviate hammertoe development
Now, this sounds like a terrble lot of work but I understand nearly exactly what was done and was able to become comfortable with it.
I had no bone fusion, and my achilles tendon is being lengthened with small "perforations" as opposed to insertion of some material foreign to my body.
I expected the pain to be unbearable but to my surprise, it truly hasn't been. I plan to update this thread with my experience, maybe it will be helpful for someone else and I've got not much better to do for awhile...
I've had my first post-op visit, the doctor took 3 x-rays, all non-weight bearing of course and said that everything appears to be in the appropriate position. Most of the bandaging was removed and I was surprised that there was less bruising and less swelling than I had expected.
My foot looks like someone else's foot and that is of course strange. All four of my toe's are much longer after the tenectomies. I was so accustomed to the shortened curled position they had assumed that I considered that normal.
The doctor pointed out that my toes are now aligned with my kneecap whereas they previously pointed out away from by body and perhaps a 20 degree angle. I had a bunion which is now gone.
While the bandaging was off, I tried to move my foot and was able to successfully mimic most normal motion to a minor degree. The only thing I am unable to do is press my foot down, I assume that has something to do with the PTT lengthening and the injury that tendon has received.
I was put in a cast and told that I will wear it only for a week and then I will return to have x-rays, a fresh cast, and my stitches removed.
I have such a long way to go considering I'm planning on having my second foot renovated after my first is wearing a shoe.
I am lucky enough to be on FMLA leave from work and have excellent short term disability benefits so all I need to do is keep my foot sufficiently elevated and non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. Unfortunately, almost unbearable boredom has set in after only completing week 1.
I am so glad to have found this website. I'm planning on having flat feet reconstruction done in the next two months. I've been postponing the surgery till I got more information. You sound like you're doing good...so it sounds like a good choice after all. I'll be checking in with your new posts. Thanks you
I went for my two week post-op appointment yesterday. Got the cast taken off, bandages off the incisions and stitches that weren't absorbable removed. My foot looked uglier and more bruised than it did for my one week appointment. I'm assuming this is because the foot was more swollen initially and the skin didn't show as many bruises through the fluid?
I can feel the foot getting stronger slowly, I can move it a bit more but now that it's been 2 weeks and it looks hopeless and the thought of walking is scary, I'm of course a bit scared.
The doctor said everything looks fine but mentioned the possibility of wearing a walking cast after my 6 weeks of non-weight bearing. And THEN a boot. This could extend the time I wear a non-removable cast and that does not sound fun. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get to go right to a walking boot after week 6!
My daughter is 15 and had the same surgeries as you, with the exception of the hammer toe. Her surgery was June 8th and she is getting her cast off almost 7 weeks later on July 31st. She is so excited to get the cast off but I have read the boot is actually more uncomfortable which worries me, because it is something she can take off. The main thing she wants to do is get in the pool, which I hear is a great place to do her PT, I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Last edited by knkpatrick; 07-29-2009 at 03:26 PM.
KNK - Interesting to hear of someone who had the same procedures as me. I'm glad you guys think everything is going well, it's scary to basically have your foot rebuilt and hope it turns out all right.
I'd love to hear how she does after the cast is removed, I'm very curious to know what it's going to be like to walk on it?
Now that I found the page I will make sure to keep my daughter's updates on it. Cast comes off today. I know she will be happy to just be able to shave her leg again. lol. I will post an update on Monday. Have a great weekend.
Just wondering how things are healing for you. I had surgery 3 weeks ago to correct severe flat feet--involving subtalar joint fusion (a.k.a. arthrodesis), navicular cuneiform fusion, posterior tibial tendon repair, flexor digitorum longus transfer, gastoc release. When everything is healed and I've done PT and built up muscle again, I will go back for the other foot.
I am going back to the doctor at 10-weeks post-op and he will decide if I can start weight bearing. So basically I have many weeks ahead wondering how this will all turn out, and would appreciate any feedback you may have to offer.
My daughter had her surgery 6/8/09, she was non weight bearing for 8 weeks and did not start PT until she was weight bearing. She was in a boot for about a month and only got 6 pt sessions. She is currently in Tennis Shoes but still limping. It gets better each day, but she still has a long way to go. 12/21/09, they will do the surgery on the other foot, and they expect two more surgeries after that.
Last edited by knkpatrick; 10-13-2009 at 07:34 AM.
Reason: Did not mean to post before I responded
I just had my surgery for flat foot on October 21 and I am still in considerable pain. I had a tendon transfer on the inside of my ankle and my rear foot was reconstructed. Can anyone comment as to their experience with the pain and how they dealt with it.
I started this thread in July when I had surgery, you can find the procedures listed in the original post. It's three and a half months later and I'm already running 2 miles. The worst part about my experience was the muscle atrophy that resulted from being casted and NWB for six weeks. My left leg is significantly skinnier and noticeably weaker in many different ways.
As far as the pain I experienced, I have to say it was minimal compared to what I had prepared myself for. However, for the first one to two weeks, I stayed on paid medication and kept it elevated and still to the point of discomfort for the rest of my body.
I was extremely apprehensive about having the surgery and my feelings throughout the heeling process oscillated from excited to very nervous and scared that I was never going to be "normal" again.
After having my cast removed, I wore a walking boot for another five weeks. After that, I went to about 15 physical therapy visits. My guestimate is that it will take me about another year to recover from the atrophy and be able to restore a gait that appears to be normal.
My feet are symmetrical, I still plan to have the other foot operated on in the not terribly distant future. At this point, I'm surprised to be able to say that my "new" foot feels more comfortable/solid/less stressed as far as the biomechanics and weight distribution.
I hope that others have as positive of an experience as I have. If anyone has questions about what I experienced, I will be glad to answer them... I know I was looking for more information before my surgery and it was hard to find!
I had the same surgery last June. I need to get it done to my right foot also. I too thought I would be trying to walk after six weeks. That was not the case I went to a walking cast and then a boot. I did not get to try walking in the boot until August. It was a very scary thing to go through. I can totally relate to what you are talking about. I still do not have complete feeling in my foot from the nerves finding eachother again. Do not expect to return to your normal shoes when you get out of the boot. What worked well for me were mens New Balance in the super wide size. Physical therapy is a must. The bones heal quickly but the muscles tendons etc all need a lot of work after being in casts and boots for so long. Remember ice is your friend. I still ice in the middle of the day and at night. I am going to take a year off before I do the other foot. Mentally I can not handle doing it right away. I was surprised to feel depressed at my immobility. St. Johns wort pills have helped with that. I bought a knee scooter because I was able to do so much more on it than crutches. I also asked my doctor for a temporary handicap sign for parking nearer to places I needed to go. Hang in there it does get better.
[QUOTE=knkpatrick;4047240]My daughter is 15 and had the same surgeries as you, with the exception of the hammer toe. Her surgery was June 8th and she is getting her cast off almost 7 weeks later on July 31st. She is so excited to get the cast off but I have read the boot is actually more uncomfortable which worries me, because it is something she can take off. The main thing she wants to do is get in the pool, which I hear is a great place to do her PT, I guess we will just have to wait and see. [/QUOTE]