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Old 09-29-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Tendon Lengthening

Does anyone have any insight on tendon lengthening surgery? This is what my doctor suggested for my flat feet and I am trying to gather more information as it makes me incredible apprehensive. He wants to surgically lengthen my Achilles tendon.

Last edited by Phoenix506; 09-29-2012 at 11:25 PM.

 
Old 09-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
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Re: Tendon Lengthening

What kind of problem are you having? Plenty of people have flat feet without problems. If you have equinus the sx makes sense. If you have just a flatfoot then really look into the biomechanics of your foot before you have the tendon messed with. Tendon transfers and lengthening are the borrow from Peter to pay Paul scenario. The Achilles tendon is the strongest in your body so be careful with it. That being said, I operate on them all the time without too much difficulty. The real bear is the edema. Get compression socks and make sure you do what your told after sx.

 
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: Tendon Lengthening

I highly suggest that you do NOT have that done. My feet were flatter than a pancake, but I now have an arch due to a good good therapist who knows kiniseology. Your a. tendon is very important and so is your plantar facia and everything from your foot to your hip. If you have flat feet, chances are your knees are off, your plantar facia is way too tight and the rest of the muscles in that area, including the a. tendon, are weak. Please do not let anyone operate because it is not necessary. Oh, I also had bunions and hammer toes. Had both feet operated on by a ortho man years ago, but could see that the hammer toe on one foot was returning and the bunion was getting worse. Since in this therapy, my toe looks normal and my bunions are much much smaller. So, all of this can be helped if you find the right person. Please stay clear of podiatrists for any such surgery. They LOVE to cut when it is not needed. Now, don't get me wrong because they can be used for other things, but not this type of work. I also wore orthotics and they did nothing but damage me. They make those tendons weak and that is not good. Orthotics are money makers for podiatrists and others in that field.

 
Old 09-30-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Tendon Lengthening

With all due respect, what you said is not true. If your Achilles tendon was weak it would be the opposite. And, all podiatrists do not want to take you to the operating room. In fact, if someone was motivated but money, which they are not, it is not economically sound to do surgery. That being said, if you can treat this conservatively, which I said, then do it. Many podiatrists are well trained but make sure they do this type of procedure...IF you have it done. By making a blanket statement about a profession, it makes you sound very uninformed. You have experience with your feet and ankles, I have experience with 1000's. Orthotics work for some people and not for others. And, by the way if you know exactly, precisely what causes flat feet then your ahead of all the scientific research.

If you would like to debate the finer points of the foot and ankle then please reply. If your a doctor that that would be great too.

 
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
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Re: Tendon Lengthening

I think each and every situation is different. I had fallen arches myself that weren't able to be helped with non surgical methods. I spent over a year trying everything the doctor could come up with and undergoing every test to prevent surgery but ultimately it happened. In my case, I had a double fusion and achilles lengthening. I naturally have very tight achilles that have little give. In order for the whole alignment for my foot to be correct after the fusions, it was necessary to have my achilles tendon lengthened or it would not have sat right for a natural motion. The lengthening of my achilles was the least of my procedures. I had three tiny little incisions on the back of my ankle/heel and very little pain there at all.

Not all podiatrists are bad. I would suggest one though that is a specialist in reconstructive surgery as mine was. He was not quick to cut at all and tried every imaginable correction under the sun to stop it from happening. I went through extensive amounts of physical therapy, orthotics, boots, cortisone, everything to prevent the surgery. I wish you the very best and take everything you read here with a grain of salt Everyone has opinions and different experiences. It has been a great board for me to be able to talk to people and see if they had the same things. We are not doctors though. Well maybe some are but I have no idea?
Take care!
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:17 AM   #6
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Re: Tendon Lengthening

pheonix506,

I can sympathize with your apprehensions about tendon lengthening as I may possibly be facing it down the road also, and therefore would also be very interested in hearing about this topic. I just had surgery for osseous equinus, and my ankle is still having a lot of problems with very tight tendons/muscles. I'm hopeful that with physical therapy I can get them loosened up. I wish you the best in your decision making process. I would recommend that you get a 2nd opinion if you're able to as you can really be surprised at how differently 2 doctors will see the situation, and also by seeing another doctor they may explain some things better to you so you can make the most educated decision. This way also you can choose the doctor you are most comfortable with if you do have to have surgery.

floridafoot, it seems you are a doctor or very educated in foot and ankle surgeries somehow as you commented that you operate on them. Your input to help us is very welcome and appreciated. It seems we are only able to visit with our surgeons for about 5-10 minutes when we see them, and that's not enough time for them to fully explain what we're facing so we can make good decisions and understand what's going on.

danabarb, while I appreciate that you offer input to people, I don't appreciate that you are constantly making comments about surgeons only being in it for the money, telling people to never use orthotics, and telling people not get surgeries. You are welcome to offer your opinions and share your experience, but there are valid reasons for people to have surgeries and use orthotics, and the vast majority of surgeons out there are very conservative in their use of surgery as a treatment method. Doctors tend to be caring people who are not motivated primarily by money, and without them a lot of us would be in a very bad predicament. Please do not continue to tell everyone to avoid surgery and orthotics as a blanket statement, and please refrain from using such derogatory statements about doctors.

 
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
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Re: Tendon Lengthening

I totally agree that podiatrists are not all bad. Amidst my healing from my procedure I lost my job and my insurance. I have had a significant setback having had my fusion broken in physical therapy. My doctor has been the most compassionate person regarding my given situation. He has stopped charging me for office visits and X-rays and went out of his way to get me a rather large discount on my bone growth stimulator saving me $4050!!

I appreciate this board and recognize everyone is entitled to their own opinions. By all means if you are not satisfied with the decisions of the physician you're seeing seek a second opinion. Always best to be safe than sorry. I wish you the best!

 
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