I am 50. I have lived with the birth defects of bilateral club feet. Seeking calf implants? (Photos)

Will Cigna Healthcare help pay for some of the cost to you if the surgery is submitted as reconstructive and medically necessary. They have already paid for a surgical procedure on my feet and aware of my birth defect. Please include your location, availability for a consultation.

Doctor Answers 3

Calf implants - will insurance pay?

Thank you for asking about your calf implants.
  • I am sorry you had club feet and glad you have had corrective surgery.
  • Calf implants are a standard procedure to correct the visible effects of club feet -
  • It is worth submitting an insurance pre-determination form but don't get your hopes up -
  • No insurer, so far, has paid for this operation in my practice on the grounds that it is cosmetic, not functional.
  • Surgery places a soft, solid implant over the muscle -
  • It can be done as an outpatient.
  • Recovery takes at least two full weeks and often longer to feel you are walking normally -
  • Until then, it is painful when you start walking and your knees are bent.
  • I would be honored to see you in consultation by Skype or in person.
  • My office is 2045 Peachtree Road, NE, #412, Atlanta, GA 30309 404.941-3200
  • We arrange our schedule so that we can usually see consultations within 2 weeks.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Calf implants for club feet

Although calf implants are your only reliable and permanent option for adding bulk/symmetry to your calves, all health insurance providers consider this purely cosmetic, not functional, and thus will not pay. Please read on for more general details:Fat transfer will NOT work, period!  Surgical prices vary by region, surgeon reputation, and surgical experience.  However, very few plastic surgeons specialize in this operation so you may have to travel a long distance to one that does. The implants are made of soft semi-solid silicone rubber and placed surgically through a small (3/4 inch) incision in a natural crease behind the knee. When the implants are properly sized and placed under the muscle fascia, they should blend in and look natural. There are too many critical nerves and blood vessels under the muscle to risk this technique. All surgery comes with post-operative pain and recovery.  For calf implants, the first two weeks after surgery is the most difficult time because walking is painful. Recovery usually progresses at a smooth steady pace from there. Glad to help. 

Ryan Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Calf Implants

Calf implants are the only effective treatment for small calfs as a result of congenital club feet. Whether insurance will pay for calf implants because of your condition can not be accurately predicted. This requires a predetermination letter with pictures to the insurance company. My experience has not been positive in that regard since the implants do not provide a functional benefit (improve your ability to walk) or relieve any painful symptoms.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.