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Surgical Options

Posted by Paul M. on 12/25/01 at 21:33 (067796)

I am a 49 year old male and I was born with a right foot that was turned under. The orthopedist who treated me as a young child kept me in casts until I was four, then performed a faciotomy to straighten out the foot. My left foot has always been flat and pronated, since I couldn't develop its muscles by running and playing because of the cast on the other foot.

Worsening foot pain during my 30s forced me to give up working as a photojournalist and become a more sedentary teacher and education administrator.

I have worn orthopedic shoes with orthotics for many years, but over the past few years I have experienced increasing foot pain. At one point, I foolishly listened to a prominent New York orthopedist, who convinced me that physical therapy could cure my feet. It only made things worse.

Several orthopedists and podiatrists have suggested surgery and have mentioned 'fusing' bones in my feet and ankles. I don't quite understand what this procedure would entail.

I would be grateful for any information that you could give me about this sort of surgery, the prognosis, recovery and long-term effects. Several individuals have told me that I am liable to need knee and/or hip replacement surgery within the next 20 years if I don't have surgery on my feet.

Thank you for your assistance. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Paul M.
New York City