Alteration of the calf strength by heel cord lengthening, gastrocnemius recession through tenotomy or fasciotomy. A retrospective clinical force analysis before and after surgery.


BACKGROUND: Indications for surgical corrections about the Achilles tendon are increasing as additional measures in reconstructive interventions about the foot. These indications include shortened gastrocnemii, which cause a so-called ‘functional pes equinus’ and secondary forefoot imbalances, as well as corrections of pes planus and cavus. Surgery about the heel cord may also be indicated for achillodynia and diabetic pressure ulcers. However, there is a lack of evidence that quantifies the results of lengthening procedures about the heel cord. The aim of this study was to quantify the exact changes in calf strength one year after elongating the triceps surae, by measuring flexion forces in 90 degrees knee flexion and knee extension. METHODS: This study involves 69 patients who were examined for calf strength preoperatively and 1 year after gastrocnemius release. A new device, the Leonardo Mechanograph(R) (Novotec Medical) was used to measure calf strength. Measurements were performed with the knee flexed and extended. RESULTS: The operated leg had an overall statistically significant reduction in strength after surgery. Changes were similar on the contralateral leg. The difference in force reduction between the operated and non-operated leg was not statistically significant CONCLUSION: A correlation between measured plantar flexion forces of the foot after a reconstructive foot operation with or without a lengthening procedure about the calf musculature could not be established. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III: retrospective cohort study.

Author: Gottlieb T, Klaue K

Organization: Teltower Damm 35, 14169 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Year: 2023

GID: 6134

Created on: 08.02.2024

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