What are the risks of flatfoot surgical correction?
The feet are an amazing collections of bones and ligaments that support a large amount of weight over a long period of time, but for many individuals, their feet may fail. One condition that adults commonly suffer is “flatfoot” which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens.
What causes fallen arches?
While there are a variety of causes of flat feet or fallen arches in adults, it is common for many to be born with this condition. That being said, flat feet can also be caused by damage or inflammation to the tendons, broken or dislocated bones, nerve problems as well as certain health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, pregnancy and aging.
What are the symptoms of flatfoot?
For many, flat feet may not present problems or require treatment, but others can experience a range of symptoms, especially foot pain in the arches and heels. In addition, it may be difficult for some to move their feet or stand on their toes. In some cases, the bottom of the feet can become swollen, and fallen arches can also cause back and leg pain.
How are flat feet and fallen arches treated?
There are a number of treatments for flat feet and fallen arches, depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, this can simply mean rest and ice to relieve the pain as well as stretching exercises. At times, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, whether oral or by injection, may be necessary. Orthotic devices, shoe modifications and physical therapy may also be helpful.
For those with severe pain or foot damage, surgery may be required. There are a wide range of procedures in this regard, including fusion of the feet and ankle bones, removing spurs, cutting and reshaping bones, tendon transfers and even bone grafts. These procedures are designed to improve foot alignment and normalize pressures when standing or walking.
Prior to foot surgery it is essential for a foot surgeon to perform a complete evaluation of the foot, including a physical exam, X-rays, and a medical examination. It is also necessary to rely on non-surgical procedures mentioned above before any recommendation for surgery. The medical exam is crucial because some individuals may not be candidates for surgery: patients with diabetes, obesity, and smokers, all of whom are at risk of blood clots and wound problems.
What are the potential complications of flatfoot surgery?
In some cases flatfoot surgery may result in incomplete healing of the bone or wound breakdown. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks related to anesthesia, nerve and blood vessel damage, as well as the potential for infection and blood clots. If a surgical error leads to an injury, however, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.