What was your initial medical issue?
My foot had several bones that had shifted over the years from an old injury (10+ years old) and the hormones from two pregnancies made them shift further. My arch had gone flat and I could not stand still, run, jump, sleep, or even sit without pain. The only thing I could comfortably do was walk. I had very limited flexibility in my calf and that meant I could not sit on the floor either, among other things, simply because my leg didn’t bend that way.
What did your pain or other symptoms prevent you from doing?
I really couldn’t carry, travel (stores, playdates, etc), or play with my kids the way I wanted to.
Why did you choose Dr. Neufeld and Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center?
I had been to a dozen or more orthopedic foot doctors at this point, but I still hadn’t found one that I felt actually diagnosed my problem correctly and therefore they couldn’t fix it. I searched online for doctors in the area as I had recently moved and eventually found Dr. Neufeld. He offered a logical solution that really gave me hope that his type of surgery would fix my issues. Before this point I had been offered several kinds of surgeries that I know now would for sure not have fixed my foot. I had also been to physical therapy for my foot almost every year since my initial injury, and the exercises and treatments had only helped a little.
What procedure/treatment did you have done?
I had surgery on my left foot/ankle. It was an Achilles lengthening, lateral column lengthening calcaneal osteotomy, and spring ligament repair. There was another repair done to the midfoot, but I’m not sure what it is called.
How did you feel after your treatment?
I had some initial problems with swelling because I could not keep my foot elevated as much as I needed to at home after surgery because I have two small kids. This caused me a lot of pain, but once we got the swelling under control (they switched me from a cast to a boot early so I could loosen it), I didn’t have any other problems. I was non weight bearing for many weeks and then was able to begin physical therapy. Because my leg had hardly been used for many years, it took many months to regain the muscle. I am three years post-operation now and I have no issues doing anything. I am more mobile and capable than I have been in 15 years. I can sit on the floor with crossed legs; I can run, jump, and carry heavy things while walking. I can stand for hours and not even get a sore arch. The only symptom I have that reminds me that I ever had a problem is that my foot swells a little when it gets very hot. But it swells less each summer and I believe in another year or two I won’t even have this reminder. This surgery was difficult because my kids were small but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Do you have any advice for other patients?
I waited so many years hoping that physical therapy would fix my foot because I was so nervous about the surgery, but physical therapy only barely helped me continue to walk. If Dr. Neufeld says he can improve your foot/ankle with surgery or treatment more than what physical therapy can, don’t delay it too long.