Flatfoot Surgery: Recovery
Dr. Julien Lopez provides you with all the necessary information to prepare for your flatfoot surgery and its recovery.
Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is reduced or absent, resulting in a flattening of the sole of the foot. Normally, the arch of the foot evenly distributes the body's weight, but in the case of flat feet, this distribution is altered. In some cases, flat feet may be asymptomatic and do not require specific treatment. However, in other cases, they can cause problems such as pain and discomfort in the foot, ankle, knee, leg, or back. If symptoms related to flat feet are present and interfere with daily activities, surgical treatment may be considered.
Dr. Julien Lopez is a specialist in flatfoot surgery using percutaneous techniques.
This surgical method offers many advantages compared to open surgery:
- Smaller scar size
- Reduced pain
- Easier recovery
- Reduced risk of complications
Discover here the different stages of recovery from minimally invasive flatfoot surgery.
Postoperative Pain Management
Postoperative pain is the primary concern for patients. After surgery, patients may experience pain, discomfort, and discomfort in the operated foot.
Pain management is a priority for patients and healthcare professionals. Therefore, several measures are put in place to help you go through your recovery as smoothly as possible.
Whenever possible, Dr. Julien Lopez systematically prefers the use of regional anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used during the procedure will be determined in advance during your pre-anesthetic consultation.
Regional anesthesia has many advantages for the patient:
- It helps avoid the risks of complications associated with general anesthesia.
- It allows the patient to spend less time in the recovery room and return home earlier.
- It prevents postoperative pain for up to 8 hours after the procedure.
Regional anesthesia can numb the foot, leg, or the entire limb. It can be administered directly at the surgical site, targeting the specific area where pain is likely to occur. Regional anesthesia also allows for extended numbness for several days after the procedure if necessary.
Before your discharge from the clinic, the anesthesiologist will prescribe analgesic treatment to be taken for several days. It is important to take this treatment correctly and strictly follow your surgeon's instructions.
Upon returning home, intravenous analgesic infusion is commonly administered for 2 to 3 days. It provides continuous and effective pain relief.
Once the minimally invasive surgery for the condition is completed, Dr. Julien Lopez will remind you of the main instructions to follow during the postoperative phase.
In most cases, the foot will be protected by a removable boot for 3 to 6 weeks.
Dressing changes should be performed every 2 days until complete healing of the foot.
Two postoperative appointments are scheduled: the first one on the 21st day after the operation and the second one on the 60th day after the operation. Depending on the case, additional consultations may be necessary.
To reduce swelling, it is recommended to keep the foot elevated. It is also advisable to apply ice to the foot several times a day.
After flatfoot surgery, physiotherapy and self-rehabilitation exercises will be necessary a few weeks postoperatively.
In the case of arthrodesis surgery for rigid flat feet, rehabilitation can begin from the 3rd week postoperatively. This timeline may vary depending on your recovery progress and healing. Only the surgeon can determine an appropriate timeline based on the follow-up consultation and radiological assessment.
Resumption of Activities
After minimally invasive flatfoot surgery, activities should be resumed gradually.
Full weight-bearing on the operated foot is strictly prohibited for 21 days. To facilitate movement, you can use canes, a walker, or a wheelchair. The resumption of weight-bearing is typically started at 21 days with the boot, except in the case of arthrodesis. After this period, you can wear walking shoes following flatfoot surgery.
Driving is permitted after the boot is removed.
The duration of work leave ranges from 2 to 6 months. This period may vary from case to case depending on the procedures performed by the surgeon during the flatfoot surgery.
Physical activity can be resumed starting from the 3rd month postoperatively. It is advisable to begin with "gentle" physical activities such as swimming and cycling, for example.
Risks and Complications
Like all surgeries, minimally invasive flatfoot surgery carries risks of complications.
Common complications include:
- Nerve damage
Non-union of arthrodesis
- Specific complications related to flatfoot surgery include:
- Persistence of deviation or pain after the procedure
- Recurrence of deformity
- Displacement of fractures or screws
Dr. Julien Lopez and his team do everything possible to ensure that the surgery goes smoothly, minimizing the risk of postoperative complications by carefully following the surgeon's instructions at each stage of the recovery process.