About 2 years ago, my mom had taken me to the doctor because of my left foot being "pigeon toed". They had diagnosed me with femoral anteversion and said the only way to correct it was with surgery. At the time I said no, but now that I've decided to become more active (so as to become healthier) my knee/ankle have been hurting more (actually, in the last month or so my ankle has gotten better, but my knee still hurts with any vigorous exercise, like running more than a mile). 2 weeks ago I went skiing and that really aggravated it and now it's been aching dully for a week or so. Now I've been thinking a lot more about having the surgery.
My question would be this, has any here at this surgery done, and how was it? I'm afraid to get it because I heard I'd be in the hospital for about a month, in a wheelchair for about 2 months, crutches for about 2 months, and then physical therapy. That's about a half a year of minimal walking, plus I'd imagine the surgery is painful. On the other hand, I'd like to get it so I don't have to worry about over-stressing my leg, and, in the long wrong, having to get something like a knee or hip replacement done (I also have slight hip dysplasia, so the twisted femur tends cause pain there as well). Anyways, even if I do get it done it won't be for another year and a half or so (I'd like to finish my senior year first), but I'd like some time to think it over and hear what other people's experiences were.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: Surgery for Femoral Anteversion
I see that you haven't gotten any replies -- I doubt this is a common surgery. Last night after reading your post, I Googled femoral anteversion, thought "oh, I think I have that", then told myself I need to quit self-diagnosing. Today, at a post-op check-up, my hip surgeon had another surgeon shadowing him. He remarked to the shadowing surgeon, "Note the femoral anteversion." So, easy enough to go undiagnosed while visiting multiple orthopedic surgeons for a variety of hip issues.
It sounds like the majority of troubles are in your knees and ankles, which may be to your advantage. Since you have some time, I would suggest trying some other things. First, I would aggressively pursue physical therapy. It will not change the underlying skeletal and joint issues, but you can strengthen the supporting muscles. The physical therapist can also let you know about how to change your body mechanics to avoid injury. If you do have surgery, your muscles will be stronger and that will make recovery easier.
The second thing I would recommend is getting fitted for medical orthotic inserts. (Don't use the machine at the drug store -- go to a podiatrist). The orthotic inserts will help your feet to find their best positioning.
The third thing would be to get fitting for knee or ankle supportive braces. You don't want to wear such braces every day, because you want your muscles to continue to engage, rather than solely relying on the brace. But, for strenuous or new activities, braces may be helpful.
Fourth, and I only mention this because you indicated you wanted to be more active, if your BMI is not within the ideal range, you may want to consider weight loss. (I don't know your situation, and I know that teenagers struggle with body image, so please don't take this personally. If your weight is a concern, talk to your doctor about whether you are medically at the right weight.) I realize that getting active is part of the equation, which is so, so difficult if you are in pain.
Fifth, in your quest to be more active (good job!), be careful. The typical guideline is to increase your distance/time by ten percent per week. If you can comfortably run a mile, add another tenth of a mile per week. It will add up quickly. You might also want to mix up activities, like running one day and biking other days. This will allow any stress from the impact to resolve before running again. If you have access to a pool, you can also try swimming or kicking.
Finally, I would talk to your parents about health insurance issues. You might not be covered if you are not a full-time student, and you probably can't be a full-time student with such extensive surgery. You will probably also need to get pre-certification, so be prepared for a fight with the insurance company.
My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with this on Tuesday May 1st. She is a very competetive softball catcher and her knee started bothering her. The first step should definitely be physical therapy. Only her right knee is bothering her and when her orthopedic dr tested her quad muscles there was a significant difference in the muscles. Her left one is very big and defined while her right was was still muscular but there was not much muscle around the knee. She will be doing physical therapy 2-3 times a week for 12 weeks to work on the muscles in her right leg. One thing about physical therapy is that YOU have to do the exercises at home too or there is no point in going that route.
I definitely think surgery should be your last resort. The femoral bone is the biggest bone in your body and also the strongest, so when they break the bone to reposition it there will be a GREAT deal of pain.
Braces and splints DO NOT work on femoral anteversion and most doctors dont even recommend them!
Good luck in whatever you choose to have done.