Shortened Achilles? Here’s an option.

There are 3 reasons drop-foot happens:

1. Stroke is a brain injury. The brain injury no longer provides enough “brain power” to  activate the muscle that lift the foot (tibialis anterior).

2. Survivors often have spasticity of the calf muscles. The job of the calf is to cause a “toe down” posture at the ankle. A spastic calf muscle is one that contracts too much, forcing the “toe down” position.

3. Because of both #1 and 2, above, there is often a contracture (permanent shortening) of the calf muscle and the Achilles tendon.

There are a number of aids and shots and exercises and so on to help drop-foot, but I’d like to focus on one option. Its called Percutaneous Achilles Tendon Lengthening.

Quick hits:

  • It is a surgery, often done outpatient and under a local. 
  • Healing takes 6-8 weeks
  • GRAPHIC video here 
  • Its permanent
  • Its effect is (after healing) immediate