Brachymetatarsia Surgery Cost

How Much Does Brachymetatarsia Surgery Cost?

Last Updated on April 4, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Brachymetatarsia is a condition characterized by abnormal shortening of one or more metatarsal bones in the foot. This can lead to aesthetic issues, difficulty fitting shoes, and pain. In severe cases, surgery may be required to realign and lengthen the metatarsals. But brachymetatarsia surgery is complex – so what costs are involved?

This guide covers the typical pricing for brachymetatarsia surgery, including the procedure itself, surgeon fees, hospital charges, implants, therapy, and more. Understanding the costs allows you to plan and budget appropriately if this treatment is recommended.

We’ll also look at insurance coverage, financing options, choosing a qualified surgeon, surgical techniques, recovery, risks, and key factors that impact the total expense.

How Much Does Brachymetatarsia Surgery Cost?

The overall total cost for brachymetatarsia surgery range between $10,000 – $30,000.

While exact pricing depends on your unique case, typical costs for brachymetatarsia surgical correction are:

  • Surgeon professional fees: $2000 – $8000
  • Hospital or facility charges: $6000 – $15,000
  • Implants, grafts, hardware: $2000 – $5000
  • Physical therapy (varies): $1000 – $5000

Many of the factors outlined above will determine where you fall within this range. Be sure to obtain an itemized case estimate from your surgeon. website mentions that the Brachymetatarsia surgery cost with insurance ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, with factors such as procedure complexity, surgeon’s fees, anesthesia fees, facility fees, and geographical location affecting the cost. mentions that the approximate cost of Brachymetatarsia surgery without insurance is $10,000, covering surgeon’s fees, surgery center, anesthesia, and follow-up in Arizona for 6 months.

What is Brachymetatarsia and Its Symptoms?

Brachymetatarsia refers to one or more of the metatarsal bones in the foot being abnormally short compared to the other metatarsals. Often, the fourth metatarsal is affected.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Aesthetic issues – The foot may appear compressed or asymmetrical
  • Discomfort – From calluses or pressure points that develop
  • Numbness or tingling – From nerves being compressed
  • Difficulty with shoe-fitting – Due to the shortened toe
  • Pain and arthritis – From altered weight distribution

Diagnosis typically involves physical examination, x-rays, CT scans or MRI. If the deformity is causing significant problems, surgery may be recommended.

What Causes Brachymetatarsia?

While the exact causes are unknown, potential contributing factors include:

  • Genetic conditions or congenital disorders affecting bone growth
  • Previous injury, infection, or surgery that impacted the metatarsal
  • Certain medical conditions like diabetes that affect circulation and bone health
  • Trauma or fractures during pivotal bone development phases in youth

The fourth metatarsal is most commonly involved since it is the longest metatarsal bone and undergoes the most growth. Disruption to its development or blood supply as a child may lead to brachymetatarsia later in life.

Surgical Options for Brachymetatarsia Correction

If non-surgical treatment like orthotics or padding fail to provide relief, several surgical procedures may be considered to realign and lengthen the metatarsals:

Metatarsal Bone Lengthening

This is the most common and straightforward approach. During surgery:

  • The shortened metatarsal bone is cut through its midsection.
  • The two ends are gradually lengthened and realigned using miniature external fixation devices attached to pins placed in the bone segments.
  • As the bone ends are pulled apart about 1mm daily, new bone tissue forms and regrows in the gap.
  • Once the desired length is achieved, the external fixator is removed and the incision closed.

Bone Grafting Procedures

Bone grafting introduces donor bone material or bone substitutes to add length:

  • Bone from the patient’s hip area or a cadaver is harvested.
  • The graft material is precisely sized and inset into a cut made in the short metatarsal bone.
  • Internal pins, screws, or plates may be used to stabilize the graft as it integrates.

Synthetic bone substitutes can also be used. Healing takes 6-12 weeks.

Also check out the price for Bunion surgery, toe shortening, and hammertoe surgery.

Callus Distraction Osteogenesis

This technique involves:

  • Making a cut in the affected metatarsal bone, then gradually pulling the ends apart using an external fixator device.
  • As tension is applied across the gap daily, new bone tissue forms in the space between the ends.
  • This bone callus matures and consolidates into regenerated, lengthened metatarsal bone.
  • Once the desired length is achieved, the external fixator is removed.

What Affects the Cost of Brachymetatarsia Surgery?

Multiple factors influence the total pricing:

Type of Brachymetatarsia Procedure

  • Simple metatarsal lengthening has lower costs for materials and OR time needed.
  • Bone grafting is more complex, requiring donor bone harvesting and precise graft sizing.
  • Callus distraction with external fixation is very technique-sensitive and time-intensive.

Number of Metatarsals Being Treated

  • Fixing multiple shortened metatarsals requires longer surgery, more hardware, and higher costs.
  • Staged procedures may be needed to correct each metatarsal sequentially.

Extent of Lengthening Required

  • The greater the amount of lengthening needed, the more expensive the procedure.
  • Minor shortening like 5mm may cost on the lower range, while severe shortening exceeding 30mm will be pricier.

Surgeon’s Fees

  • Highly experienced foot/ankle surgeons or podiatrists often charge higher professional fees in the range of $2000-$8000.
  • Less specialized orthopedic surgeons may charge somewhat reduced rates.

Surgical Facility Fees

  • Hospital operating room fees often tally $5000-$15,000.
  • Outpatient surgical centers are sometimes more affordable options.

Implants and Bone Graft Materials

  • Internal fixation screws or plates can run $500-$2500.
  • Cadaver or artificial bone grafts add $2000-$5000 in material costs.

Location and Hospital

  • Costs tend to be higher at hospitals in major metropolitan and coastal regions.
  • Rural hospital or surgery centers often have lower overhead and lower charges.

Insurance Coverage Details

  • Good insurance coverage can reduce out-of-pocket costs significantly.
  • For uninsured patients, total costs paid directly are higher.

Insurance Coverage for Brachymetatarsia

Brachymetatarsia Before and AfterUnfortunately, insurance coverage for brachymetatarsia surgery can be tricky:

  • Some insurers classify the surgery as medically necessary and will cover a portion, often 50-80% after deductible.
  • Other companies may consider the procedure cosmetic rather than medically mandatory, and deny coverage.
  • Policies often cap orthopedic benefits or impose high deductibles that still leave substantial out-of-pocket costs.
  • Public insurance like Medicaid and Medicare have strict qualifying criteria that patients must meet for coverage.

Thoroughly researching your individual insurance plan provisions and getting confirmation of coverage in writing is crucial before pursuing surgery. Many patients discover insurance falls short of expected costs. Be prepared for potential significant uninsured costs.

Financing Options for Surgery

If facing substantial out-of-pocket costs, financing options to explore include:

  • Payment plans – Many orthopedic surgeons offer extended financing for a fixed monthly payment amount. Plans are often interest-free.
  • Medical credit cards – Cards like CareCredit offer deferred interest plans for medical expenses if paid within the promotional window.
  • Medical loans – Banks and lenders like Prosper and LendingClub offer personal installment loans designed to fund elective medical costs.
  • Crowdfunding – Using a platform like GoFundMe to request contributions for medical fundraising.

Having a clear sense of the full projected cost and preparing your personal budget is the most important in picking the most advantageous financing path.

How to Choose a Surgeon

Selecting a skilled orthopedic foot and ankle specialist is critical for the best outcome. Tips for finding the right surgeon:

  • Look for a board-certified orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist who specializes in complex foot realignment and reconstruction procedures.
  • Verify that the surgeon has considerable experience specifically performing brachymetatarsia surgeries, and regularly manages associated complications if they arise.
  • Ask to see surgical case logs, before/after photos of brachymetatarsia patients, and read online reviews.
  • Some university hospitals and major research orthopedic institutes offer expert surgery teams for complex conditions like brachymetatarsia.
  • Be open to traveling beyond your immediate area to have surgery performed by a surgeon with proven results.

Take time researching and vetting providers before committing.

Final Words

Deciding whether to undergo brachymetatarsia surgery is a complex personal decision requiring careful consideration of the potential benefits, surgical risks, and financial costs involved. While expensive and invasive, correction surgery performed by a reputable foot specialist can transform appearance, improve comfort, and restore normal foot mechanics for those living with severe brachymetatarsia deformity.

Weigh the options in consultation with your orthopedic team, and do not hesitate to seek multiple professional opinions. For the right candidate willing to commit to the postoperative protocols, brachymetatarsia surgery can provide life-changing improvements well worth the investment.

Freqneutly Asked Questions

Is brachymetatarsia surgery worth it?

For patients with severe deformity or disabling pain, surgery can provide lasting improvement in appearance, biomechanical foot function, and shoe fit. But it is expensive and invasive. Consulting with professionals and patients who were satisfied with their surgical outcome can help determine if the expected benefits are worth the costs and recovery for your individual case.

How long is the recovery time after brachymetatarsia surgery?

It takes approximately 6-12 months for full recovery after brachymetatarsia surgery. You will need to avoid weightbearing on the foot for 6-8 weeks until initial bone healing occurs. Several months of physical therapy and gradual return to normal activity are then required as swelling resolves, strength improves, and the new bone fully matures.

Can a brachymetatarsia surgery go wrong?

As with any surgery, there are risks like infection, nerve damage, and issues with bone healing. Choosing an experienced foot surgeon lowers these risks. Following all postoperative instructions for wound care, activity restriction, and physical therapy is crucial as well to support optimal recovery and prevent complications. Having realistic expectations about the improvement possible also reduces disappointment.

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