For those of you who may ultimately undergo a flatfoot reconstruction procedure, it is important to read and comprehend the following :
- Bone grafting
- Insertion of wedges or fusions of the arch
- Achilles tendon lengthening
- Implantation of joint limiting devices
Flatfoot reconstruction is typically a complex and surgically demanding procedure. There is no one correct procedure that will fit all types of deformities. Factors which play a role in the selection of your procedures are:
- Location of the deformity
- Duration of the deformity
- Arthritic changes within the foot
- Weight of the patient
- Circulatory status
- Bone density
Once all of these factors have been evaluated, as well as the deformity, the appropriate procedures will be selected to improve your foot structure and function. The primary reason for flatfoot reconstruction is for improvement of pain. Not all patients will experience complete pain relief, but the vast majority will experience a significant improvement and enhancement of lifestyle. Occasionally, sequential surgeries may be required if all of the deformity cannot be corrected at the time of the initial surgery.
If your doctor elects to use a fusion or bone grafting technique, it will typically take 3-4 months for the fusion to solidify and 1-2 years for the grafts to completely incorporate. It is important to realize that you can expect improvement for at least 1-2 years after your surgery. Those of you who will undergo bone grafting procedures often wonder where the bone graft is procured. We use allogenic freeze dried cadaver bone in the majority of our cases. Through the use of cadaveric bone, we eliminate a separate surgery that is required for harvesting the bone graft from your hip, which is typically an uncomfortable procedure. There have been no reported cases of transference of HIV or Hepatitis virus through the use of freeze dried allogenic bone grafting procedure.
The surgeons of Beaumont Foot Specialists have been performing these types of procedures for more than 15 years, with the outcomes extremely gratifying and very predictable in most cases. Please realize that the outcome of your surgery is only 50 percent contingent on the surgeon, and the other 50 percent is on patient compliance and adhering to your postoperative instructions. If you are overweight, we ask that you make every attempt at weight reduction prior to, during, and after your surgical correction.
Unless otherwise specified, the majority of the patients undergoing flatfoot reconstruction are required to be on crutches for a period of two weeks. You can prepare yourself for crutch ambulation by practicing prior to your surgery so that you feel comfortable with them before the procedure. Typically, for the next six weeks, you will be placed into a below-knee, non-removable, fiberglass cast. For the first two weeks, you will remain on a non-weight-bearing status. After two weeks, you will then be allowed to partial weight-bear. Full weight-bearing is permitted without the use of crutches between 4-6 weeks after surgery. After eight weeks, you are then converted to a removable, below-knee cam walker that resembles a cast. This can be removed for bathing and sleeping purposes only. Once your flatfoot reconstruction has reached skeletal stability, your doctor will usually prescribe a custom-made orthotic to go in your shoe to help protect the surgical correction. This must be worn at all times and in all shoes for the first postoperative year. Once the graft sites and fusions are completely healed, if you wish, you may occasionally go without your orthotic.
We, the physicians and staff of Beaumont Foot Specialists, pride ourselves in being the only Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgical Group in our community that performs these very exacting and demanding procedures. These procedures have been performed not only on hundreds of patients, but also on many of our family members, staff and friends with extremely gratifying outcomes. The physicians and staff at our office are available to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all of your postoperative needs and concerns. Please feel free to contact us at any point during your postoperative convalescence with any questions or problems.