Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Arch reconstruction Surgery

Posted by Pat on 5/12/00 at 13:59 (020271)

I noticed Wendyn mentioned a possibility of arch reconstruction
surgery. Is anyone familiar with this/had it done? Will having
arch created (for very flat feet) relieve PF? I'd like to hear more about this from Wendyn or anyone who can enlighten. Wendyn, I also noticed you mentioned that it is not recommended at your age. Why
does age matter? Thanks

Re: Response to Pat

wendyn on 5/12/00 at 18:35 (020296)

Hi Pat. We did not get into a big discussion on this subject...he discussed it as a last resort/down-the-road-if-necessary type of surgery.

I don't presume to know the intrict details of why some people have flat feet - or how they got that way, but in my case it sounds like it's a degenerative condition that will progressively get worse and cause more problems. This has been the case over the last 20 years.

He didn't go into detail on the surgery but said that _eventually_ it may need to be done, and it may be an option I'll have to consider then. He said it would be major reconstructive surgery - and not just one surgery per foot but a series of them.

I would assume that he would not consider it at this point because I have two useable (albeit painful) feet. Perhaps when I am 50 or 60 and unable to walk any more - they will rebuild them so they are useable for another 10 or 15 years. (I am assuming here). I would fully expect that they would only be minimally useful after having a series of reconstructive surgeries.

I suspect that with the average lifespan of women being around 80 now, he figures that reconsructed arches would never hold up for 50 year so it's too soon.

After my MRI (which I expect to have sometime probably in the fall because of our long waiting lists) I will talk to him about this some more.


Re: to Wendy

Nancy S. on 5/12/00 at 21:14 (020310)

Wendy, I hope your feet decide to take the slow road and never catch up with the rest of you during the aging process. With your spirit, you could be one of those people -- you know, people who defy all doctors' predictions. (I've seen that happen.) In any case, I know this can't be easy, and I want you to know that I find your approach to life and its problems an inspiration. --Nancy

Re: To Nancy

wendyn on 5/12/00 at 22:01 (020315)

I don't feel terribly inspired most of the time Nancy - but thank you! I am very fortunate that I am small and not prone to weight gain (as I sit here with my bowl of popcorn and glass of wine and I haven't been to the gym in 10 days because I'm too hairy - but I digress). I'm also fortunate that I had my children while I was really young - a pregnancy and 30 pound weight gain now would probably be crippling.

I know I get a little deep about appreciating life for this board - but I'm going to tell you this anyway.

Talked to a friend today, she is in her late 30's. 3 years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and had radiation and chemo. A year ago she had to have a colostomy (cancer spread). Last month she had part of her liver and half her stomach removed (now they say she has a second type of cancer). The surgeon has given her a 25% chance of making 5 years.

She asked the surgeon what she could do in order to try to make sure the cancer doesn't come back again. He told her to enjoy her life. She's going for a pedicure tomorrow and is hoping to start coming to yoga with me in June.

Her positive attitude and faith is an incredible inspiration for me. With all she's been through - how can I complain and be miserable about my situation?

No, I can't jog and run and I have to sit on my bum more than I like. But I can at least go to the bathroom like a normal person and I'm not dealing with a life threatening illness.

I had my pity party yesterday, but I think things look a whole lot brighter today.

Good night :)


Re: To Nancy

Bob G. on 5/12/00 at 23:47 (020319)

Thank you, Wendy, for your post. My problems are small in comparison.

Life is what we make of it. I feel really blessed.

Best wishes to all.


Re: To Nancy --Wendy

Nancy S. on 5/13/00 at 05:25 (020322)

That is a humbling story, Wendy. We can probably all use a dose of that kind of perspective now and then; I know I can. It keeps me grateful for the seemingly small things, not to mention the big ones. Thanks --Nancy

Re: Deepness

ChrisO on 5/13/00 at 11:45 (020332)

Nothing wrong with a little 'deepness' Wendy. In fact, it's a good reminder about perspective when we're feeling way down. I had a nice chat with my neighbor yesterday - she's about 65 and a real sweetheart. But, she's lost two adult children, one to cancer and one to a car crash. Now, she tells me, her third has cancer. She is an absolute doll but it's hard to figure sometimes why the Lord thinks ANYONE'S plate can handle that much. Of course her story changed my perspective at least for the rest of the day and yours will at least for today. Thankyou and take care.

Re: Response to Wendyn

Pat on 5/14/00 at 09:33 (020355)

Thanks Wendy. If you learn anymore on this, please let us know.
I've always wondered if flat feet was the cause of pf, but it
seems alot with it have high arches. Guess it still could be the
case tho in our case. You said you don't have to worry about weight.
neither do I. I'm thin as a rail. So, it's surely not weight that
has caused our arches to flatten out, must be in the genes. However,
come to think of it, I'm the only one in the family with flat feet,
and nobody else has pf that i'm aware of.

Re: Family tendancy

wendyn on 5/14/00 at 10:07 (020356)

In my case - there seems to be a strong family tendancy (on both sides!) to have foot problems. Both my grandmothers had gnarled feet from arthritis. My paternal grandmother (who is still getting around pretty good at 84) has problems with her right leg and foot (like me). Unfortunately - she comes from an age where they learned not to question doctors. I don't know what's wrong with her feet and legs and if it's related to what's happening to me. She gets medicine for it from the doctor but never knows what it is or why he's giving it to her. Very frustrating - but short of hauing her off to the doctor myself - I guess I will never know. Since she still lives independently and takes care of herself, she would not put up with me barging in on her medical care.

My parents both wear orthotics - my dad has a lot of problems with PF and sore feet in general.

On the really down side of things - my 14 year old seems to be following 'in my foot steps' (!). He started having very similar problems with his feet right around the 11 year mark as well - and I'm afraid that we have a lot of structuaral similarities in our feet and legs.

My youngest (the 7 year old) has bizarre feet. They are completely flat and always have been - they pronate as well. They don't hurt him, and I'm wondering if he'll actually be better off than older son and I because his arches have no where to fall.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Re: Family tendancy

Pat on 5/14/00 at 12:26 (020359)

Yes, i've heard children with completely flat feet often do better
without any support/orthotics. The old 'if it ain't broke don't fix it.' I've also heard that othotics only help generally if one still has some arch to support (sounds like in your case unless you make a completely flat wet footprint) I've not decided what to do in my case yet.

Re: Response to Pat

wendyn on 5/12/00 at 18:35 (020296)

Hi Pat. We did not get into a big discussion on this subject...he discussed it as a last resort/down-the-road-if-necessary type of surgery.

I don't presume to know the intrict details of why some people have flat feet - or how they got that way, but in my case it sounds like it's a degenerative condition that will progressively get worse and cause more problems. This has been the case over the last 20 years.

He didn't go into detail on the surgery but said that _eventually_ it may need to be done, and it may be an option I'll have to consider then. He said it would be major reconstructive surgery - and not just one surgery per foot but a series of them.

I would assume that he would not consider it at this point because I have two useable (albeit painful) feet. Perhaps when I am 50 or 60 and unable to walk any more - they will rebuild them so they are useable for another 10 or 15 years. (I am assuming here). I would fully expect that they would only be minimally useful after having a series of reconstructive surgeries.

I suspect that with the average lifespan of women being around 80 now, he figures that reconsructed arches would never hold up for 50 year so it's too soon.

After my MRI (which I expect to have sometime probably in the fall because of our long waiting lists) I will talk to him about this some more.


Re: to Wendy

Nancy S. on 5/12/00 at 21:14 (020310)

Wendy, I hope your feet decide to take the slow road and never catch up with the rest of you during the aging process. With your spirit, you could be one of those people -- you know, people who defy all doctors' predictions. (I've seen that happen.) In any case, I know this can't be easy, and I want you to know that I find your approach to life and its problems an inspiration. --Nancy

Re: To Nancy

wendyn on 5/12/00 at 22:01 (020315)

I don't feel terribly inspired most of the time Nancy - but thank you! I am very fortunate that I am small and not prone to weight gain (as I sit here with my bowl of popcorn and glass of wine and I haven't been to the gym in 10 days because I'm too hairy - but I digress). I'm also fortunate that I had my children while I was really young - a pregnancy and 30 pound weight gain now would probably be crippling.

I know I get a little deep about appreciating life for this board - but I'm going to tell you this anyway.

Talked to a friend today, she is in her late 30's. 3 years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and had radiation and chemo. A year ago she had to have a colostomy (cancer spread). Last month she had part of her liver and half her stomach removed (now they say she has a second type of cancer). The surgeon has given her a 25% chance of making 5 years.

She asked the surgeon what she could do in order to try to make sure the cancer doesn't come back again. He told her to enjoy her life. She's going for a pedicure tomorrow and is hoping to start coming to yoga with me in June.

Her positive attitude and faith is an incredible inspiration for me. With all she's been through - how can I complain and be miserable about my situation?

No, I can't jog and run and I have to sit on my bum more than I like. But I can at least go to the bathroom like a normal person and I'm not dealing with a life threatening illness.

I had my pity party yesterday, but I think things look a whole lot brighter today.

Good night :)


Re: To Nancy

Bob G. on 5/12/00 at 23:47 (020319)

Thank you, Wendy, for your post. My problems are small in comparison.

Life is what we make of it. I feel really blessed.

Best wishes to all.


Re: To Nancy --Wendy

Nancy S. on 5/13/00 at 05:25 (020322)

That is a humbling story, Wendy. We can probably all use a dose of that kind of perspective now and then; I know I can. It keeps me grateful for the seemingly small things, not to mention the big ones. Thanks --Nancy

Re: Deepness

ChrisO on 5/13/00 at 11:45 (020332)

Nothing wrong with a little 'deepness' Wendy. In fact, it's a good reminder about perspective when we're feeling way down. I had a nice chat with my neighbor yesterday - she's about 65 and a real sweetheart. But, she's lost two adult children, one to cancer and one to a car crash. Now, she tells me, her third has cancer. She is an absolute doll but it's hard to figure sometimes why the Lord thinks ANYONE'S plate can handle that much. Of course her story changed my perspective at least for the rest of the day and yours will at least for today. Thankyou and take care.

Re: Response to Wendyn

Pat on 5/14/00 at 09:33 (020355)

Thanks Wendy. If you learn anymore on this, please let us know.
I've always wondered if flat feet was the cause of pf, but it
seems alot with it have high arches. Guess it still could be the
case tho in our case. You said you don't have to worry about weight.
neither do I. I'm thin as a rail. So, it's surely not weight that
has caused our arches to flatten out, must be in the genes. However,
come to think of it, I'm the only one in the family with flat feet,
and nobody else has pf that i'm aware of.

Re: Family tendancy

wendyn on 5/14/00 at 10:07 (020356)

In my case - there seems to be a strong family tendancy (on both sides!) to have foot problems. Both my grandmothers had gnarled feet from arthritis. My paternal grandmother (who is still getting around pretty good at 84) has problems with her right leg and foot (like me). Unfortunately - she comes from an age where they learned not to question doctors. I don't know what's wrong with her feet and legs and if it's related to what's happening to me. She gets medicine for it from the doctor but never knows what it is or why he's giving it to her. Very frustrating - but short of hauing her off to the doctor myself - I guess I will never know. Since she still lives independently and takes care of herself, she would not put up with me barging in on her medical care.

My parents both wear orthotics - my dad has a lot of problems with PF and sore feet in general.

On the really down side of things - my 14 year old seems to be following 'in my foot steps' (!). He started having very similar problems with his feet right around the 11 year mark as well - and I'm afraid that we have a lot of structuaral similarities in our feet and legs.

My youngest (the 7 year old) has bizarre feet. They are completely flat and always have been - they pronate as well. They don't hurt him, and I'm wondering if he'll actually be better off than older son and I because his arches have no where to fall.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Re: Family tendancy

Pat on 5/14/00 at 12:26 (020359)

Yes, i've heard children with completely flat feet often do better
without any support/orthotics. The old 'if it ain't broke don't fix it.' I've also heard that othotics only help generally if one still has some arch to support (sounds like in your case unless you make a completely flat wet footprint) I've not decided what to do in my case yet.