Triceps Surae Contracture: Implications for Foot and Ankle Surgery

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Abstract

Restricted ankle dorsiflexion secondary to contracture of the gastrocnemius-soleus complex is frequently encountered in patients with foot and ankle pain and is well documented in the literature. During gait, decreased dorsiflexion shifts weight-bearing pressures from the heel to the forefoot, which may result in or exacerbate one of several pathologic conditions. Modest success has been achieved with nonsurgical management of triceps surae contracture, including splinting and stretching exercises. Surgical lengthening of the gastrocnemius-soleus complex at multiple levels has been described, and early clinical results have been promising. Additional research is required to further elucidate the long-term outcomes of various lengthening techniques.

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