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There are different reasons why your child may need foot surgery. This factsheet explains the different surgeries for certain medical conditions.
Your child will need to be admitted to hospital for foot surgery. The length of stay in hospital will depend on the type of surgery that is done.
A posterior medial release (PMR) is an operation to correct club foot (talipes). The medical term for club foot is congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV). Club foot is a deformity that is present at birth and may affect one or both feet. Surgery may be needed to release the ligaments and tendons that pull the foot out of position. Often a pin is inserted to hold the correct position and a plaster cast is applied.
A triple arthrodesis is an operation to stabilise three joints within the ankle. A subtalar fusion is an operation to stabilise one joint within the foot. Either of these operations may be required for patients with residual club foot or foot deformities. Surgery involves fusing or joining the joints using metal screws and a bone graft. A plaster cast below the knees is then applied.
A tarsal coalition occurs when the joints in the foot do not form correctly. This results in a stiff flat-foot deformity. Movement of the foot is restricted, it is often painful and needs surgery. Surgery is done to remove the affected bone and a below knee plaster cast is applied.
The soft tissue of the foot includes ligaments, tendons and muscles. Surgery is done on the soft tissues (mostly tendons) to correct foot deformities that do not involve bones. Children with cerebral palsy or spina bifida often need this operation. A plaster or walking cast is then applied to hold the foot in the correct position.
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Developed by 4 Main - Orthopaedic Unit, Orthopaedic Department at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed May 2020.
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This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.