Most patients can return to sport, physical activity after flatfoot reconstruction surgery
CHICAGO — Most patients who have flatfoot reconstruction surgery can return to sports and physical activities, according to presented data.
“The study helps surgeons provide data-driven, sport-specific expectations regarding postoperative returns to physical activity. Correlations between [Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System] PROMIS scores and satisfaction indicate that good clinical outcomes are associated with patients’ ability to return to activities they desire,” Lavan Rajan, said at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting.
Rajan and colleagues from Hospital for Special Surgery studied the return to sports and physical activity for patients with symptomatic flexible-stage flatfoot deformity after reconstruction surgery. They analyzed patient-reported data from 82 patients, aged 18 to 60 years, who had undergone reconstructive foot surgery at the hospital between February 2016 and May 2019. Overall, 75.6% of the patients were women, and the mean follow-up was 3.1 years postoperatively. Mean patient age was 48.9 years, with a range of 18 to 59 years.
Patients were asked about their ability to return to 21 physical activities, such as yoga, biking, walking and running, as well as their overall level of function, pain and other outcomes using the HSS Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Registry.
According to the results, half of the 21 activities became easier for patients to perform after surgery, while 33% of patients experienced no difference and 17% said the activities became more challenging.
Improvements in physical function, pain and global physical health were associated with statistically significant increases in patient satisfaction with respect to sports and physical activities. No patients surveyed had stopped doing activities they had performed before surgery, but many patients had taken up new activities.
Overall, 74 of 82 patients (90%) reported being somewhat to very satisfied with their ability to be active, while eight (10%) said they were unsatisfied with the results of the surgery. Researchers found patients had significant improvements in all PROMIS domains, except depression.
Most patients returned to their maximum preoperative level of participation, however, 22% of patients never reached this preoperative level of participation, Rajan said.
“Regarding return to sport, we find mixed outcomes. Many patients reported life-changing improvements, but many also experienced reported prolonged pain and difficulty after surgery. Therefore, patients should be made aware of these risks, especially if they desire to return to specific sports.”