What is Achilles Tendon Lengthening?
Achilles tendon lengthening is a procedure used to treat issues with mobility due to a shorter Achilles tendon. This treatment is accomplished by lengthening the Achilles tendon through a series of cuts in the tendon.
Who Needs Achilles Tendon Lengthening?
This procedure can be used to treat a variety of conditions that cause issues with ankle mobility like flatfeet, chronic tendonitis, or foot deformity caused by clubfoot or diabetes.
What Are the Steps in Achilles Tendon Lengthening?
Before the Procedure
The back of the ankle is positioned so the surgeon is able to clearly access the area. The patient is then given anesthesia.
Treatment of the Tendon
Several small incisions are made through the skin and into the Achilles tendon in multiple places. These small cuts will let the tendon stretch without tearing. As the cuts heal, the tendon will become longer.
End of Procedure
Once the incisions have been made, they are closed with surgical staples or sutures. The area is then bandaged.
Depending on the severity of the initial condition, the patient may be kept for observation. Recovery from this procedure varies depending on the amount of incisions necessary, but often requires a minimum of 6 weeks. The patient may be required to wear an immobilization device like a brace or cast to keep movement minimal while the tendon heals.