Phone: 817-697-4038 Fax: 877-409-3962


If you need a Flexor Hallucis Tendon Transfer, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Is A Flexor Hallucis Tendon Transfer?

Surgeons perform flexor hallucis tendon transfer to address specific foot and ankle conditions like chronic Achilles tendon injuries or chronic plantar ulcers. In this procedure, they transfer and reposition the flexor hallucis longus tendon, located in the leg and responsible for flexing the big toe, to enhance support and function. However, do not confuse this procedure with the Flexor Tendon in the hand, which may require Tenolysis.

Flexor Hallucis Tendon Transfer Procedure

The surgeon initiates the procedure by making an incision on the leg and foot to access both the flexor hallucis longus tendon and the affected area. After identifying the flexor hallucis longus tendon, the surgeon then prepares it for transfer. Next, the surgeon detaches the flexor hallucis longus tendon from its original insertion point and relocates it to a new site, commonly the calcaneus (heel bone) or the midfoot area. Lastly, the surgeon securely attaches the transferred tendon to the new location using specialized surgical techniques such as sutures or bone anchors.

Moreover, this procedure aims to enhance support and function in the affected area. In instances of chronic Achilles tendon injuries, the transferred tendon can reinforce the weakened Achilles tendon, enhancing its function and stability. Additionally, chronic plantar ulcers (sores on the bottom of the foot), the transferred tendon offers extra padding and protection, alleviating pressure on the ulcer and facilitating healing.

After the surgery, the patient will undergo a period of immobilization and use of a cast or walking boot to protect the surgical site during the initial healing phase. Futhermore, physicians recommend physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises to gradually restore strength, flexibility, and function in the foot and ankle.

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with this procedure, including infection, nerve injury, and delayed wound healing. The decision to undergo this surgery is made after a thorough evaluation and discussion with an orthopedic surgeon, who will assess the patient’s specific condition, medical history, and overall health to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Flexor Hallucis Tendon Transfer Benefits

Moreover, flexor hallucis tendon transfer offers significant benefits for individuals experiencing severe foot deformities or conditions affecting the alignment of the big toe:

  1. Improved Stability: By transferring the flexor hallucis tendon, which controls the movement of the big toe, to a new location on the foot, surgeons can enhance stability and correct abnormalities in toe positioning.
  2. Enhanced Functionality: This procedure restores proper toe alignment, allowing for improved balance and weight distribution during walking and other weight-bearing activities.
  3. Pain Reduction: Many patients experience relief from pain associated with conditions like hallux valgus (bunions) or rigid hammertoe deformities, which can be exacerbated by improper toe alignment.
  4. Prevention of Joint Damage: Addressing misalignment early can prevent progressive joint damage and reduce the likelihood of future complications, such as arthritis.
  5. Recovery of Normal Toe Function: With proper rehabilitation, patients can regain normal toe function and flexibility, leading to improved overall foot mechanics and quality of life.

Flexor Hallucis Tendon Transfer Recovery

After undergoing flexor hallucis tendon transfer surgery, patients typically undergo a structured recovery process aimed at optimizing foot function and minimizing complications. Initially, the foot is immobilized with a cast or splint to protect the surgical site and promote healing. Physical therapy begins shortly after to gradually reintroduce movement and strengthen the transferred tendon.

During the early stages of recovery, exercises focus on restoring range of motion and preventing stiffness. As healing progresses, therapy advances to include weight-bearing activities and gait training to improve balance and stability. Patients are guided through a series of exercises to enhance flexibility and strength in the foot and toe.

Throughout the recovery period, patients are monitored closely by healthcare providers to ensure the tendon heals properly and to address any potential issues promptly. Compliance with post-operative care instructions, including wearing prescribed footwear and attending rehabilitation sessions, is crucial for achieving optimal outcomes and returning to normal activities with improved foot function.



If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic  Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Tele-medicine appointments are also available.