Some surgeries are sort of like fixing a leaky pipe or replacing a railing that cracks or snaps. First the object is working well, then it breaks, and finally it gets put back together the way it was. Many surgeries for traumatic events, such as breaking an arm, are broadly comparable to this example.
Reconstructive surgery is a little different. You may have been born with an inherited structural problem in your feet or ankles that impairs your biomechanical efficiency, or you may have developed a slowly-worsening deformity over time. Fixing such problems via surgery isn’t as simple as setting a broken bone: the goal is to reshape and reconstruct the lower limb into a healthy, sustainable, biomechanically correct structure.
Restoring Balance to Feet that Need It
The human foot is designed to withstand the rigors we place upon them with each step. Everything from the way the arch is shaped to the way your feet flatten and roll with each step is molded to facilitate a lifetime of pain free locomotion. Unfortunately, some feet do this better than others, especially if they break down due to decades of wear and tear.
Feet that are born out of alignment, or have fallen to deformations over time, can rob you of your mobility and independence. Constant pain and disfigurement may make even simple, daily tasks a challenge. The goal of reconstructive surgery is to restore balance and harmony to the feet, allowing you to return to activity without pain or discomfort.
Conditions that May Require Reconstructive Surgery
It’s important to note that surgery is not always the first choice for each of these conditions. Sometimes, when your deformity is more mild, conservative measures can relieve pain and restore function to a satisfactory degree. However, we do commonly provide reconstructive surgery for matters such as:
- Bunions and bunionettes. Reconstructive surgery not only removes the bump on the outside of the big or little toe, but may cut and realign or fuse bones to fix the underlying problem.
- Flat feet or high arches. Some people are born with naturally flat feet, while in other cases arches slowly collapse over time. On the other end of the spectrum, arches that are too high can also cause pain, injury, and problems. Rebuilding a normal, neutral arch shape can restore an active, pain-free lifestyle.
- Arthritis. Some arthritic conditions, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA), can cause disfigurement and deformity that requires reconstructing or replacing joints.
- Diabetic foot complications. Diabetes can wreak havoc on feet, especially when significant nerve damage has also taken place. This includes severe disfigurements such as Charcot foot, as well as wounds and ulcers which, if left untreated for too long, may necessitate a diabetic limb salvage operation or partial amputation.
Reconstructive Surgery Techniques
Because reconstructive surgery is a little more complicated than many other types of operations, and because every foot is different, we will devise a customized treatment plan which may employ several potential techniques. These may include cutting or repairing damaged tendons and ligaments, transferring healthy tendons or ligaments from other areas, cutting and realigning bones (osteotomy), bone grafts, joint fusion (arthrodesis), total joint replacement, or other procedures. Fixation devices such as screws, plates, wires, or pins may be required to keep the reconstructive foot immobile while it heals.
Rest assured that, more than any other podiatry group in the Greater Cincinnati area, the experts at Family Foot and Ankle Center have the skills and training you need for a successful foot reconstruction. Our team of experts include physicians with specialties in a wide range of conditions and techniques. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at 888-689-3317. You can also request an appointment online by filling out a contact form.