There are many different ways to lengthen the Achilles tendon, but the 2 most common ways are to either do a triple hemisection (which means cut the Achilles partially in 3 different places to let the tendon lengthen) or do a gastrocnemius recession. The reason surgeons will choose one of these procedures depends on which muscles in the posterior leg are too tight. The easiest way to determine this is to dorsiflex the ankle with the knee extended and then the knee flexed.
There are many reasons why surgeons recommend Achilles tendon lengthening. Probably the most common procedure we do this on today is a flatfoot reconstruction. In a flatfoot, the Achilles becomes too tight and actually becomes a deforming force to push the heel in to more valgus and make the flatfoot even worse. Other common reasons the Achilles needs to be lengthening including chronic plantar forefoot diabetic wounds and other chronic plantar forefoot pain, such as metatarsalgia, that doesn't improve with conservative measures like stretching and using orthotics.
If you have either an injury or pain that isn't getting better in your feet and ankles, we are here to help you! Call our experienced foot and ankle surgeons today at 719-488-4664. We are Colorado Springs premier podiatrists, and we're here to help get you back on your feet and live an active lifestyle!