Getting to the Bottom of Aches and Pains

Many foot problems, as well as pain elsewhere in the body, can be traced to talotarsal subluxation/dislocation syndrome, a common cause of flat foot.

If conservative treatment fails to correct this condition, I often recommend the HyProCure® stent.

In a minimally invasive, 10-minute outpatient procedure, the stent can be placed to stabilize the foot. I’ve been treating patients with this method for 11 years with great success, and I can tell you firsthand, it made a world of difference for me!

Flat foot can happen when the ankle bone has become displaced from its correct positioning on the hind foot bones. In turn, the abnormal positioning of the foot creates an imbalance that can affect not just the foot, but the rest of the body.

I’ve had patients with knee, hip, and back pain come in who had no idea their foot was the primary cause. Worse, patients often seek treatment for these issues while the root of the problem remains ignored. It’s important to identify and correct the source of the issue.

Most people with flat foot end up with a condition called calcanovalgus, where the heel tilts out and the arch collapses. They can develop prolonged pronation, a general mechanical condition that can lead to hammer toe, bunions, heel spurs, degenerative joint disease, and tailor’s bunions. Over time, they can develop plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, tendon dysfunction, tarsal tunnel syndrome or Achilles tendonitis.

We start with a conservative course of treatment. This can involve stretching, orthotics, activity limitation, and switching to proper shoe gear. If a conservative course fails, I discuss the HyProCure® stent with patients.

The stent can be used effectively on patients as young as eight years old, through the geriatric population. Talotarsal dislocation will not resolve on its own, patients do not outgrow it. It’s an internal problem and often needs an internal solution.

The healing time following the procedure varies according to the patient’s age, weight, overall physical condition, and gender. People are generally able to bear a little weight almost immediately. Generally, patients can begin walking without a boot or other assistive device around four weeks following the procedure.

And, while it can take at least a year to completely adapt to the implant, I’ve seen it happen in as little as three months.

My procedure was done six years ago, and after three months, I was able to return to distance running, playing tennis and basketball, and playing with my kids.

When I recommend the procedure to patients, I think it’s valuable to them that I know what it feels like to go through. Not to mention, I’m a success story – if it worked for the doctor, maybe it’s right for you.

Mark A. Jones, DPM, is a foot and ankle surgeon affiliated with Methodist Hospitals.

Dr. Mark Jones Dr. Mark Jones, DPM with the Methodist Physician Group in Merrillville, IN specializes in all things podiatry: diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the foot and ankle. Dr. Jones underwent training at the William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine with honors in clinical studies. He went on to complete his surgical residency training, acting as chief resident in his section. He received national recognition after obtaining advanced training in a complex nerve surgery.

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