Hey, people, I have very bad flat feet, and I am getting the MBA implant in my right foot the day after tomorrow. I met with a surgeon/podiatrist, and I now know most of the details of this procedure. If any of you people have any questions at all, I am more than happy to answer them. And when I get my surgery, if you guys want, I don't mind posting updates on the healing process.
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I feel for you. I had this done and it ended up being 6 incisions on June 29, 2009, I'm still in fiberglass cast, I've had sooo much pain and a Doctor who doesn't believe in them and it's been rough. I'm 44 and feel 98. You can't believe some of the crazy thoughts that's went through my head. Why do they not tell you up front, now we're going to want you to suffer, and suffer you will. Sometimes if it were not Christian like, lol, I wished they had to go through it.
I do wish you luck, you shouldn't have to have as much done hopefully as me. They put in the screws, plate, and the pins gave me more trouble than anyting rubbing my cast. I had to have my casts changed at least every 10 days and sometimes sooner. They cut my calf muscle in 2 and extended it. It's a mess. I'm 3 months out and this cast comes off in 2 weeks and on to a camo walker and this is weight bearing and I kid you not, I take a few steps and then cry. I just have too much pain. But I'm giving it my best shot.
I'll be thinking of you and praying for you.
Wow, if anything, I should pray for YOU! You had a much more difficult surgery. I hope things turn out all right and you are able to go on with your life without any pain soon.
I didn't think anyone would be interested in hearing updates or information about this surgery, but just in case, I'll just post what I know so if someone happens to read this, I can help.
Depending on how severe your condition is, the time will vary. If all you require is the implant to be put into your foot, then the actual surgery time will only be about half an hour (however, you will be required to spend at least 3 hours at the hospital, for check ups and such). If your case is more severe or you just want more work done, then you can expect things such as tendon lengthening, which not only prolong the surgery, but also the recovery time.
Again, this depends on what exactly goes on in the surgery and the condition of your body. What I did was I just got the implant. So far, it's been a little less than a month. And ever since, I've been on crutches. I'm not going to lie, it's hard. The first week can be painful. And if you are a student or your work requires you to do some walking, it can be tough. Normally, it will take 3 months for your foot to heal to the point where you can start running. And in most cases, you only need to be in a cast and on crutches for about a month. It's been about 4 weeks so far, so I should be getting of crutches soon. Maybe in a week, because I still can't walk barefoot normally without it hurting. The time varies from person to person, from surgery to surgery, so if you do indeed proceed with the surgery, only your doctor can give you a reliable time.
What the implant does:
basically, it's a metal screw that they insert into your ankle. In my case, they made an incision on the right side of my right ankle and just stuck it right in. This is supposed to prevent your foot from overpronating, or putting a lot a lot of pressure on the inside of your foot where the arch should be. Over time, this implant is supposed to change the shape of your foot so you develop an arch of sorts.
Insurance helps A LOT. If your insurance covers it, you will barely have to pay anything at all. Make sure you figure that out.
The first few weeks after your surgery, infection is a huge deal. You have to do whatever it takes to make sure your foot stays clean. That means for 2-3 weeks, you can't get your foot wet
I hope I helped. I remember when I was looking for information on this surgery, I couldn't find anything substantial. This surgery saved my butt, and hopefully it'll save some of yours. If you have any questions, feel free to post em here. And if you live in southern california, I know a few excellent surgeons I can refer you too.
hey tikiman ,
question. Is this a fairly new surgery and it's a really small skrew that goes into your ankle? I think one of the doctors I saw before mine now recommended this instead of the surgery that my surgeon did but I always wondered what would have happened if I opted for the implant instead...I know it would have been a different case if it was me instead of you but still, please keep us updated.
From what I know, I can say that the MBA implant is the fastest surgery available. The recovery time is usually 3 months, give or take a few weeks. However, it's just a little screw; if you had a more complicated procedure that involved lengthening tendons and whatnot, then your surgery probably had a more profound effect. As of right now, I can't say whether or not the MBA implant was worth it or not. But in about a months, perhaps I can. So far, when I stand, I've noticed that my fallen arch can't touch the ground anymore. The screw makes it so that the area where my arch should be is raised off the ground. It's awkward to walk, and it's still a bit painful, but according to my doctor, it will take about a year for the shape of my foot to fully transform
You mentioned insurance. If you don't mind my asking, who is the provider? I've been searching all the big ones, and as far as I can tell, all of the insurance providers have either added or changed their policy between late 2008 to August 2009 (my insurer) to not cover it.
After a lifetime of pain, I was excited to discover this procedure, but with it not being covered by my insurance was extremely discouraged and disappointed.
I just had my MBA implant removed. The pain it has caused me over the last 5 years cannot be measured. I would walk, sit down, and be unable to stand on it when I tried to get up. I have been stuck sitting on my lawn in so much pain I couldnt begin to get up. The podiatrist I am now seeing said it should not be done on anyone over 40, that the bone is too set. He also said that the bone chips he found in my ankle were probably the cause of the major pain. Any of the reasons I had the implant for are no where near worth the pain this little gadget has caused me. He also said it is great for children with the problem the implant was made for - it just wasnt made for me.
I'm hoping someone is still following this thread. I am looking for more information on the results of the MBA implant. I am 25 and was born with a flexible flatfoot and excessive pronation with some deformity. I was never given orthotics as a child, as I should have been. I eventually had custom orthotics made when I was 23, but they have helped only minimally. I have a lot of pain in my knees and shins, sometimes such sharp pains in my knees that they "give" for a moment till I readjust. I can never stand at ease, I'm always shifting from side to side and feel my posture suffers as well. I am VERY interested in surgery, as I've heard it's better to get it sooner than later. Does anyone have any stories about their surgery? Thanks!
Hey, Oriana, do you have any specific questions in mind?
It's been almost a year since my surgery. Roughly 8 to 9 months, and I'm healing pretty well. I've been able to run without too much discomfort for a few months now.
The healing process went by very quickly for my left foot, almost twice as quickly. But my right foot took a while, as it was in worse condition. For my right foot, I had to be on crutches for about a month before I was comfortable just walking around in a surgical boot. It took about another month or a little more before I could fit my foot back into a shoe.
My left foot, surprisingly, only took about a month total before I was able to put on shoes.
There is still a little pain, as the process takes a while. My right foot as a twinge here and there every once in a while. but my doctor told me it would take two years for a COMPLETE recovery. But again, I can do everything I need to do at this point. If you have any questions, fire away
Thanks for replying! I wanted to know if it really feels different after surgery, i.e., does it really feel like your knees are no longer bearing all the impact? Do your feet really have arches? can you stand comfortably? it sounds too good to be true!
Yeah, I can stand comfortably, and my knees feel pretty good. My feet are developing arches as we speak, and over the next few years, they'll change shape to look more "normal", or so they say. But I was told that while I will develop arches, I won't be foot modeling or anything like that anytime soon lol
i had researched this surgery extensively and I couldn't find a doctor who would do it on me because I am 43 and they said that they do that procedure on kids and teens because their feet can adapt. For adults they all recommended the lateral lengthening procedure and all that goes with it. I am 16 weeks post op from the lateral lengthening.
It's going pretty well. I can run and sprint decently. I bike to school everyday without any problems. Every once in a while, there's a small pain on the side of my foot, and it hurts a bit sometimes when I walk on uneven, rocky ground. But all in all, things are working out very well. I still can't wear flip flops, but I'm not really a flip flop type of guy haha so it's okay.
Congratulations Tikiman! I love to hear when a fellow foot sufferer can run and even sprint again. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? You mentioned school so I was wondering if you were college aged. I wish I knew about these surgical options in college. I would have jumped on it so quick. I was very athletic in high school and I stubbornly kept it up in college but probably did more harm than good by that point since my foot/leg/hip/back alignments were pretty crappy by that point.
I am healing right now. I am 16 weeks post op and I have started walking (Frankenstein style) without my crutches around the house. I still take my crutches out of the house. Everyday seems like a tiny step forward in healing. My knees right now ache and my PT says its the new position. She has been doing deep fascia release on my calf and it is excruciating. For the rest of that day however there is no knee pain.
i really really hope that I can wear flip flops one day. I live at the beach and I've worn my tennis shoes (because of the orthotics that I had to wear constantly) down on the sand for years. People tease me and I hate it when my shoes fill up with sand... haha.
I don't know how good my surgical will feel in the end but I pray it will be close to a normal pain-free foot. I still have to get the other foot done. Ugh.
Hey, there you two
I've been wondering if your insurance paid for the surgery. I did all the preliminary work and the doctor said I was a good candidate and was ready to do it whenever I said, but my insurance doesn't cover it. Says it's experimental and investigative. I checked all the major insurance carriers, and they all rewrote their policy in 2008 and 2009 to not cover it and list it as experimental. My feet are EXTREMELY flat. So much so that all doctors all my life have been shocked and made comments as such. My ankles, calves and knees always hurt. And orthotics don't work for me because my feet are so flat. I was very saddened to find out insurance won't cover it and really don't know what else to do.