Flat feet are a pretty common problem among children, but if not corrected it can be a very painful problem when they grow up. We went to Yankton to see how a 9 year old from Sioux Falls is doing 8 months after he had a minimally invasive surgery to implant this device to fix flat feet forever.
Doctor asks any pain there? The young patients answered by saying just a little.
A little bit a pain for just a little while was definitely worth it for Sioux Falls 4th grader Matthew Frohwein and his parents. He was born with flat feet. His mom, Martha, being a Physical Therapist knew to keep a close eye on his deformity as it progressed.
Martha Frohwein says, "We didn't want it to be that he'd have to wear orthotics in his shoes and go through that and have pain down the road."
Instead she and her husband Jeff traveled south to see Specialist Dr. Ben Olsen at the Yankton Foot and Ankle Center Avera. They wanted to take a proactive approach to fix Matthew's flat feet now before they become a problem later.
Dr. Olsen surgically implanted a tiny titanium device in both of Matthew's feet over the Christmas break at the end of last year. Since the severity was different in each foot, two different sizes of the implant were used.
Dr. Olsen says, "With this implant you put the device into the subtalar joint right below the ankle joint so it blocks the abnormal motion and the foot doesn't flatten therefore the pain goes away."
The only downside was that Matthew had to wear walking boots for a month after surgery, but his mom said they look like transformer boots so that made it a little more cool.
Mom Martha says, "Now he has a natural arch in both feet and you can see his knees don't knock together and he's able to do all the normal activities without pain and discomfort. Looking ahead, I think we made a good decision for him so he wasn't going to have more problems down the road."
And thanks to Dr. Olsen's successful surgery the road for Matthew will be well traveled on rollerblades or in running shoes or anything else this active energetic growing boy wants.
Dr. Olsen says the implant responds best in adolescents between the ages of 8 and 18 because their bones adapt best. It can be also removed at any point, if need be.
Questions? Call 1-877-256-8973