How Does Surgically Lengthening the Achilles Tendon Help the Body?


Quick Answer

The lengthening of the Achilles tendon through surgery is done to extend a tight Achilles tendon, according to American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. A successful procedure improves the patient's range of motion in the ankle joint. Thus, patients who walk on their toes because of a tight Achilles tendon can have their malpositioned feet fixed surgically.

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Full Answer

Podiatry Today reports that lengthening of the Achilles tendon through surgical means has a proven efficacy as a primary or adjunctive therapy for most complications of the feet, including diabetic foot problems. Complications of the Achilles tendon can cause stress on the foot to the extent of causing callus and forefoot ulcer. Tendon lengthening can heal diabetic foot ulcers and even prevent potential amputation.

For surgical lengthening of the Achilles tendon to take place, a patient is given anesthesia so that multiple incisions can be made into the tendon area, according to Premier Orthopaedics. A surgeon makes multiple small cuts to allow the tendon to stretch without causing any damage. The Achilles tendon enlarges as the surgical wounds heal.

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, however, cautions that the surgery should be avoided when the area around the Achilles tendon is infected.

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