Can an Implant Fix My Flat Feet?
If you’re suffering from chronic pain due to flat arches, excessive pronation, and feet that have fallen out of alignment with the legs, chances are you’ll have a variety of different potential treatment options to choose from.
The most common “first line of defense” for flat feet is custom orthotics, and while these do work well for most people, they aren’t a perfect solution for everybody. Sometimes a structural “fix” is required, and that means surgery.
That may sound like bad news, but you might be surprised to learn that new surgical techniques pioneered in recent years have made surgical repair of misaligned feet much simpler, easier, faster, and safer! Instead of traditional reconstructive surgery, you could be a candidate for a subtalar implant instead.
Although there are multiple types of implants available, in our opinion HyProCure is the very best one currently on the market—and Dr. Foster happens to be the only Atlas-certified provider for this treatment in Missouri.
What Is a Foot Implant and How Can It Fix Flat Feet?
The use of implants is a relatively new way to provide a more stable, longer-lasting, and less invasive realignment for feet and heels that have fallen “out of step” with the rest of the leg.
A traditional flatfoot reconstruction typically requires large incisions, cutting and repositioning bones (or possibly even bone grafts), transferring tendons, and use of hardware (pins, screws, etc.) to hold the repaired foot together during healing. Surgical outcomes do tend to be good, but the healing can be slow, you’ll spend a lot of time off your feet, and the procedure is not reversible even in the event that something goes wrong or healing fails to occur.
With an implant procedure, no bones are cut or repositioned and only a small incision is required. A small implant or stent is simply inserted into a naturally occurring gap between the ankle bone and the heel bone.
Once in place, the implant prevents this gap from collapsing (which it isn’t supposed to do anyway), keeping the ankle bone in line with the heel bone. This prevents excessive pronation of the foot and allows a proper arch to form. And because it’s an inserted stent, it can be removed if necessary.
Implants will not be appropriate for every kind of flatfoot, depending on the cause and severity. But many cases of flatfoot are the result of this kind of ankle-heel displacement, and implants are often the best option for those who qualify.
Not All Implant Procedures Are Equal!
It’s extremely important to understand this. Just because a procedure involves putting a stent into the space between the heel and ankle bone, it does not mean the expected outcomes will be similar. Factors such as the shape and design of the stent itself, as well as the location where it is placed, can make a huge difference.
Some implants are only placed in the outer half of the natural gap (sinus tarsi) between the ankle and heel bones. Because an implant in this position is designed to block ankle motion, it is subjected to repeated forces and much more likely to get dislodged and require removal.
Better implants are placed deeper within the sinus tarsi, which stabilizes the gap and enables full natural range of motion without “blocking” bones. They’re much less likely to need adjustment or replacement down the line.
HyProCure is in the latter group, and includes many additional features that make it the “implant of choice” with the highest success rates and lowest failure rates among implants. This includes its anatomical shape, hypoallergenic titanium construction, and a specially designed threaded barrel that allows scar tissue to lock the stent into place during the healing process.
More Helpful Resources
We’ve written about HyProCure extensively on our website, so if you’d like more information about the procedure, check out the handy links below. And of course, if you have any questions whatsoever that you can’t find answered on our website, don’t hesitate to ask them using our contact form, or by picking up the phone and giving us a call.
Know Your Options When It Comes to Flatfoot Treatment
More often than not, flat feet will ultimately result in negative consequences for your health and happiness, and lead to chronic pain and an inability to be as active as you want to be. And in order to make the best treatment decision for your lifestyle, you need to know what your options are.
Dr. Joel Foster specializes in flatfoot treatment. In addition to being the only Atlas-certified HyProCure doctor in Missouri, he is also proficient in more traditional surgical remedies, as well as custom orthotic therapy and many other potential treatments.
Whether your situation calls for conservative care, a minimally invasive implant procedure, or a more conventional surgical approach, we will always take the time to carefully assess your needs, walk you through all your treatment options, and help you make the best possible choice for your current and future health.