Shock absorbers are important. Cars, bikes, buggies, and almost any vehicle on the road have springs to help absorb and handle impacts. The arches of your feet are meant to serve the same purpose. If your arches are too flat, or have “fallen” for some reason, they aren’t able to function properly. Most flat feet can be managed conservatively. Sometimes, however, the arch is too painful and doesn’t respond to treatment. Flatfoot reconstruction helps rebuild the arch so you regain your foot function again.
Why Reconstruct Your Arch
While most flatfoot treatment is conservative—shoe changes, orthotics, stretches, and strengthening exercises—not all feet respond to these noninvasive remedies. This leaves you still in pain that might be sharp enough to keep you from your favorite activities. Severe flatfoot problems can even impair normal daily life by making it uncomfortable to stand or walk around. This is usually when surgery is considered an option. When all noninvasive methods have been tried over a period of time and none have worked, rebuilding your arch may be your best chance to alleviate the pain.
Taking that Next Step: What to Expect
You’ll need to prepare before the flatfoot reconstruction. Dr. Darren Silvester and our Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic staff will thoroughly examine your lower limbs and use diagnostic images to evaluate your arch. These pictures will also help us plan the procedure correctly. The actual techniques for the flatfoot surgery may vary depending on your unique feet and the activities you want to return to. They can involve realigning bones, moving tendons, and using hardware to hold cut bones in place. Once the reconstruction is complete, your foot will be put in a cast or special boot to protect it while you heal.
Recovery Can Vary Depending on the Procedure. In General, the Following Applies.
Immediately following the surgery, you’ll need to keep your foot elevated and avoid putting any weight on it. Applying pressure to a newly reconstructed arch before it is ready could seriously damage your foot. You’ll need to ice it and follow other pain management instructions to minimize your discomfort as well as reduce swelling. After several weeks, when the tissues have mostly healed and depending on the procedure, you’ll be able to begin putting weight on the foot. You’ll have to start physical therapy to regain your lower limb strength to support your weight and your activities. Most likely you’ll need to wear special inserts or braces to help support your arch. Once you’ve recovered fully, you’ll be able to return to your activities—though hard-impact ones, like running, may still be difficult and stressful for your feet.
Flatfoot reconstruction is a big step, but with the right care, it can get you back on your feet. Don’t live with the pain and limp around, unable to enjoy your favorite activities, because you’re concerned about surgery. Our experts will be with you every step of the way. Just contact Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, to get more information or a flatfoot treatment evaluation. Call (210) 375-3318 to reach our office.