'My Feet Are Killing Me' Season 4: Rebecca returns to Dr Sarah with Olmsted syndrome for 32nd surgery
Dr Sarah uses skin graft to give a more permanent fix to Rebecca's condition
During the season finale of 'My Feet Are Killing Me,' viewers witness Dr Sarah Haller's patient with Olmsted syndrome return for a more permanent solution. After three months of seeing Dr Sarah, the patient returns for a challenging surgery.
Rebecca Rhodes, 24, of Villa Rica, Georgia, was introduced to fans three months ago when she visited Dr Haller's office with her mother, Karen. Rebecca has Olmsted Syndrome, a highly uncommon genetic disorder. This condition is so uncommon that she is only the eighth known case globally. Rebecca's childhood has been stolen by this ailment, which first manifested itself at the age of five. It began as painful blisters on the soles of her feet and progressed to hard callouses. She began using a wheelchair shortly after starting school because walking was too hard for her.
Rebecca, accompanied by her mother, returns to New Jersey after three months for her 32nd surgery. During their first appointment, she trusted Dr Sarah enough to let her in the office to try to remove part of the callus on her heel. She hoped that now that her condition was the worst it has been since she became an adult, Dr Sarah might discover a far more lasting cure for her. Her feet's heels had hardened to the point that she couldn't feel them when tapped. The one near her toes causes her a lot of pressure aches, and she can feel it creeping into her foot when she presses on it.
Despite her fears that it would not work, she goes to see Dr Sarah in the hopes of a miracle. As there is no cure for the illness, the doctor devised a long-term cure plan to assist Rebecca's skin retrain and, perhaps, help her overcome some of the diseases she has been struggling with daily. When the doctor examines Rebecca's current condition, she notes that the calluses have returned. Dr Sarah informs Rebecca that, while she cannot cure her disease, she is eager to further her treatment strategy. For Rebecca's 32nd surgery, the doctor intends to address a lot of issues.
The doctor intends to not only remove the ugly calluses off the sole of Rebecca's foot but also to place a graft on top of them to train the tissue not to recreate the entire "platform" Rebecca had going on in her heel. Rebecca, who is anxious about the surgery because she has never had it before, asks Dr Sarah where the graft is coming from. Dr Sarah informs her that the skin graft is from another human and that it has been stripped down to its basic properties. She explains that it will not contain blood and will resemble a mesh screen. Rebecca wants her actual skin to breathe, therefore the doctor will suture the graft on top of her skin after removing the callus. The doctor continues Rebecca's treatment plan in the hopes of putting a stop to her continual in and out of surgery.
Dr Sarah summons Dr Brad Schaeffer to assist her with the procedure. She intends to remove each callus in one huge chunk and patch it with a graft to create a nice smooth layer of skin. Since this has never been done before, she hopes Rebecca's case will set an example. The doctor starts with her pinky toe and works her way up to the big toe before attacking the heel. She uses a ten-blade to try to get to the healthiest tissue possible before applying the graft. However, her intention to remove the calluses with a single slice of the blade failed.
She had to use the belly of the blade to bend in and get all of that where the calluses were sprouting from, or she'd never get to the bottom of it. The surgery took longer than planned since she had to remove all the calluses that appeared to have grown from the area where it was developing. Finally, she applies the skin graft directly to the skin, hoping that the new skin would grow into it and replace all the calluses. Dr Sarah observes that a patient like Rebecca is extremely difficult to treat because there is no ideal treatment plan and no lasting solution. The doctor expects that this treatment would propel Rebecca further than she has ever been. There is a danger with any surgery; in this situation, Dr Sarah hopes that the transplant takes and that no hematoma or blood is getting stuck; anything that might prevent the graft from taking is a concern. She did everything she could to ensure the graft was effective.
Rebecca reports that she is doing well after the procedure during their 2-month follow-up video call. Her feet are feeling better, allowing her to go about her day normally. Nothing seemed to pop off, especially the heels, once the graft was applied.
The show hasn't been formally renewed by TLC for a fifth season yet. For further details, check out this space.