Fun fact: Everyone is born with flat feet.
It’s true. Take off your shoes and socks and look at your bare feet. See those arches? You didn’t have those when you were born.
Most people develop their arches in early childhood. For some, however, foot arches don’t form. In most cases, that isn’t a problem. In other cases, flat feet can cause foot pain and other foot and ankle issues, necessitating flat foot reconstruction surgery.
Here at Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, with offices in Austin and Cedar Park, Texas, our experts have plenty of experience performing this procedure. Here’s what we tell our patients about what to expect from flat foot reconstruction surgery.
If you have flat feet due to soft tissue imbalances, your doctor can remove the damaged tendon from the instep of your foot and replace it with a healthy tendon from another part of your body. This new tendon helps support the arch of your foot.
Most flat foot reconstructions involve an osteotomy, where your doctor makes an incision in your heel bone to realign your arch. They remove excess bone and slide the remaining bones into the correct location, using small screws or a metal plate to hold them in place.
You may need fusion surgery to add pins or screws to hold your bones together. The bones fuse over time, restoring your arch alignment and minimizing the stress on your other joints.
After flat foot reconstruction, you should be allowed to leave the hospital the same day, once you’ve learned how to use crutches correctly. You can expect to wear a cast for at least two weeks, followed by a boot for about a month.
To aid in your healing, keep weight off your foot as much as possible and keep it raised above the level of your heart as much as you can. We may prescribe medications to help with pain, which should subside after the first week.
At the six-week mark, you can slowly start putting weight on your foot. After 12 weeks, you can wear regular shoes and begin physical therapy to restore muscle strength. You should be able to return to your usual activity levels within about six months.
In the long term, you may need to wear special insoles in your shoes to support your arches.
If you’re struggling with pain due to flat feet, our team can help. To learn more, call one of our three convenient locations or request an appointment online today.