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New surgery improves outcomes for severe flat foot deformity
Date:7/8/2010

A surgery developed at Hospital for Special Surgery can improve patient outcomes in individuals with severe adult flat foot deformity, a problem that is increasingly being seen in hospitals across the country. Patients who undergo the new surgery have better long-term outcome and mobility than those who undergo traditional surgery. The paper will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS, abstract 348) in National Harbor, Md., on July 8.

"Before this study, we were not sure whether you could salvage patients with flat foot and ankle deformity and correct their ankle as well as their foot deformity," said Jonathan Deland, M.D., chief of the Department of Foot and Ankle Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). "Now we know that with this technique you can save the ankle, and it provides a correction of the deformity even at nine years after surgery." Dr. Deland developed the surgery and is senior author of the study.

Adult acquired flat foot deformity is basically a severe type of flat foot that develops for unknown reasons in individuals who have had flat feet all their life. It is more prevalent in women and those who are overweight, and it usually develops in individuals in their 40s and 50s. In stage I of the deformity, the tendon that runs along the inside of the ankle begins to degenerate. In stage II, the arch starts to fail, and a person develops a more severe case of flat foot. As the arch continues to collapse and the flat foot becomes more pronounced, mobility becomes difficult, and the foot becomes stiff, which is considered stage III.

In the most severe stage, stage IV, the ankle starts tilting and is at risk of developing arthritis as a result of the deformity. "These people have tremendous flat foot to the point that their ankle is involved," said Scott Ellis, M.D., foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon at HSS and first author of the study. In these people, the extreme
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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
fisherp@hss.edu
212-606-1197
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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