ACHILLES TENDON LENGTHENING
If you need an achilles tendon lengthening, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What Is An Achilles Tendon Lengthening?
Achilles tendon lengthening is a surgical procedure performed to lengthen the Achilles tendon, which is the thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). The procedure is commonly done to treat a condition known as equinus contracture or tightness of the Achilles tendon.
Equinus contracture can be caused by various factors, including:
- Calf muscle tightness: When the calf muscles are excessively tight, they can pull on the Achilles tendon, leading to limited ankle motion.
- Musculoskeletal conditions: Conditions like cerebral palsy, spasticity, or certain foot deformities can result in tightness of the Achilles tendon.
- Overuse injuries: Repetitive stress or strain on the Achilles tendon can lead to chronic tightness.
- Heel cord contracture: This is a condition where the Achilles tendon becomes permanently shortened.
Achilles tendon lengthening is typically performed using one of the following techniques:
- Percutaneous technique: This is a minimally invasive approach where small incisions are made near the Achilles tendon. The surgeon uses specialized instruments to carefully release a portion of the tendon, allowing it to lengthen.
- Open surgery: In some cases, an open surgical approach may be chosen, which involves making a larger incision to access the Achilles tendon and perform the lengthening.
The primary goal of the surgery is to increase the flexibility of the Achilles tendon, which can help improve ankle motion and alleviate issues like walking difficulties and pressure on other parts of the foot. The specific technique used and the extent of the lengthening will depend on the individual’s condition and the surgeon’s assessment.
After the surgery, a period of immobilization in a cast or walking boot may be required to allow the tendon to heal properly. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are essential for restoring strength, flexibility, and function to the ankle and lower leg.
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with Achilles tendon lengthening, including infection, blood clots, nerve damage, and wound healing problems. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a detailed discussion with an orthopedic surgeon to understand the benefits, risks, and expected outcomes of the procedure based on individual circumstances.