A calcaneal osteotomy is a procedure usually performed to correct damage caused by osteoarthritis or a deformity in your heel.
During a calcaneal osteotomy your surgeon will adjust the alignment of your heel bone so it is more stable as you walk.
What happens during a calcaneal osteotomy?
A calcaneal osteotomy is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes 1-2 hours.
Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) on the back of your heel. They will cut your heel bone into two sections and shift the lower section so that it is more aligned with the rest of your foot. The sections will be fixed in place with surgical screws. They will close the wound with stitches or staples. A dressing will be used to cover the wound and a plaster cast will also be applied.
In some cases a calcaneal osteotomy may be performed on a day case basis meaning you can go home the day of the procedure. You may need to stay in hospital 1-2 nights depending on your level of mobility.
We will give you pain relief medication. Be sure and let us know if you are still in pain. You will need to keep your foot elevated to help control any swelling.
Once you have fully recovered from the anaesthesia, a physiotherapist will visit you to help you start moving around on your own. You will not be able to put weight on your operated foot for up to 6 weeks. They will also teach you how to go up and down stairs safely.
Going home after calcaneal osteotomy
You will not be able to drive until released to do by your consultant. Please arrange for someone to take you home when you are discharged.
Continue to take your pain medication regularly as prescribed. Elevate your foot as much as possible. Icing your foot will help control swelling. Do not bear any weight on your operated foot. Keep your cast dry at all times.
After 10-14 days you will need to return to hospital to have your cast changed and your stitches or staples removed.
After 6 weeks you will have your cast removed and another x-ray will be taken. If this shows adequate healing you may be allowed to start weight bearing in a cast boot.
It can take several months to completely heal from your surgery. Swelling can continue for up to one year after your surgery.
As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:
- Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis – DVT)
Specific complications of calcaneal osteotomy may include:
- Nerve damage
- Pain from surgical screws.
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