What happens after the flatfoot surgery?

Patients may go home the day of the surgery or they may require an overnight hospital stay. A splint will be used to restrict the leg movement and it should be kept in an elevated position for the first two weeks.

If you are suffering from flat feet, also referred to as flatfoot, or pes planus - a condition in which the arch of the foot is flattened so that the entire sole rests upon the ground, you may wish to consider flatfoot correction surgery for finding relief from painful symptoms.

Without treatment, the foot can lose flexibility and the condition may gradually worsen to the point that many of the tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle are simply overworking, so getting an early diagnosis is key. It is important for you to know what you can expect from the procedure itself, but understanding what might be involved with the recovery process is helpful as well.

Flatfoot surgery is a combination of procedures that:

  • repair ligaments and tendons
  • correct deformities of the bones
  • restore and support the arch of the feet
  • reduce pain and help the patients return to an active life

Immediately after surgery, your foot will be in a cast or splint, numb and pain-free; pain medication will be prescribed by your doctor if required. A week after surgery, your pain levels should be significantly reduced, and you can start to walk short distances at home with the aid of your crutches.

Post-operative instructions

Our professionally trained surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will provide specific post-operative instructions for you to follow at home. These may include:

  • in order to reduce swelling elevate your foot as much as possible
  • your doctor may recommend using an ankle brace
  • your physiotherapist will give you a custom rehabilitation program
  • the physiotherapist will teach you how to keep the weight off your operated leg
  • avoid smoking, it may delay your recovery
  • avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications, it can delay or prevent the bones from fusing

You may also be referred to a physiotherapist who will give you a personalized rehabilitation program that includes gait re-education (walking correctly), and helping to reduce swelling and muscle tightness.

Follow-up appointments

Everyone is different, so healing and post-operative programs vary from person to person. However, the schedule of follow-up appointments below is typical:

    • A post-operative follow-up appointment will be scheduled for 2-3 weeks after surgery; your wounds will be checked, your stitches removed, and a lightweight fiberglass cast will be applied.
    • You will then be four weeks after surgery with an X-ray; your old cast will be removed, and a new cast will be applied at 4 weeks and you will remain non-weight-bearing for the next 2 weeks
    • You will then be eight weeks after surgery with an X-ray. Your cast will be removed, and you will be placed in a removable walking boot to begin 50% weight-bearing. You will progress to full weight-bearing in the walking boot over the next 1-2 weeks.
    • Further appointments will depend on your individual progress.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/