What is a Midfoot Fusion?

For those who suffer from pain in the midfoot – the bones that make up the arch and connect the forefoot (which includes the bones of the tones) – midfoot fusion is a surgical procedure that may be recommended by your physician. At Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Spine Center (POSMC), we’re here to provide our patients with a full range of orthopedic surgical options and solutions – including midfoot fusion.

What are reasons (and symptoms) that might require a midfoot fusion?
The most common reason for midfoot fusion is painful arthritis in the midfoot joints that has not improved with nonsurgical treatment. Other common reasons for a midfoot fusion include too much motion of one or more of the midfoot joints or deformity of the midfoot. Examples of conditions that may result in midfoot deformity include severe bunions and flatfoot deformity. Midfoot fusion is also indicated for certain acute fractures and joint displacement involving the midfoot.

What is the goal of midfoot fusion surgery and what does it involve?
The primary goal of midfoot fusion is to decrease pain and improve function. Eliminating the painful motion between arthritic joint surfaces and restoring the bones to their normal positions will ideally achieve this. Other goals include the correction of deformity and the return of stability to the arch of the foot. A successful midfoot fusion can achieve these goals and restore more normal walking ability.

Midfoot fusion is generally accomplished using one or two incisions on the top of the foot. The length of the incision and how many incisions are necessary is determined by the number of joints to be fused. Careful attention is paid to protecting tendons and nerves.

Stability is achieved during midfoot fusion using metal implants such as screws and plates. These are designed to immobilize the joints and allow for the formation of bone across the joint space. This process may involve the addition of bone graft material to fill any gaps that might exist between the bones after the cartilage has been removed. This bone graft material may be taken from another location in the patient’s body (autograft). It may also come from donated bone (allograft) or from a synthetic material. A combination of these materials may be used.

What is the recovery like after midfoot fusion?
After surgery, a period of protection and immobilization is required for successful fusion to occur. A cast is typically placed for the first six to 10 weeks. Weightbearing is not allowed on the affected foot for eight to 12 weeks after surgery. X-rays are usually obtained every four weeks to assess progress of the fusion.

Gradually increased weightbearing is allowed as healing progresses. Initial weightbearing is protected in a prefabricated boot with gradual transition to supportive shoes. Physical therapy may be prescribed on a case-by-case basis to help the patient’s walking and balance.

Call Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Spine Center today!
If you’re experiencing any of the painful symptoms as mentioned above, give POSMC a call 972-250-5700 and schedule an appointment today. We’ll help diagnose your problem and recommend a midfoot fusion if needed. Contact us online!

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 11 board-certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician.

The doctors at POSMC have been recognized as Best Doctors in Dallas and Collin County D Magazine. They have also been honored as Super Doctors in Texas Monthly, including several who have been selected as Texas Hall of Fame SuperDoctors by their peers since 2003.