The role of isolated gastrocnemius and combined Achilles contractures in the flatfoot.
ABSTRACT In the absence of bony deformity, ankle equinus is generally the result of shortening within the gastrocnemius-soleus complex. Restriction of ankle dorsiflexion as a proxy for equinus contracture has been linked to increased mechanical strains and resultant foot and ankle pathology for a long time. This entity has many known causes, and data suggest it can manifest as either an isolated gastrocnemius or combined (Achilles) contracture. Numerous disorders of the foot and ankle have been linked with such "equinus disease", and although some of these relationships remain controversial, a reasonably convincing relationship between equinus contracture and the development of flatfoot exists. What is still perhaps most misunderstood is the temporal association between these two pathologies, and hence higher levels of evidence are needed in the future to define more precisely the interplay between flatfoot deformity and gastrocnemius-soleus tightness.
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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.The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 07/2013; 21(7):398-407. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Treatment of asymptomatic flexible flatfeet is a subject of great controversy. The purpose of this study was to examine foot function during walking in symptomatic (SFF) and asymptomatic (ASFF) flexible flatfeet. Thirty-five paediatric and juvenile patients with idiopathic flexible flatfeet were recruited from an orthopaedic outpatient department (14 SFF and 21 ASFF). Eleven age-matched participants with typically developing feet served as controls (TDF). To study foot function, 3D multi-segment foot kinematics and ankle joint kinetics were captured during barefoot gait analysis. Overall, alterations in foot kinematics in flatfeet were pronounced but differences between SFF and ASFF were not observed. Largest discriminatory effects between flatfeet and TDF were noticed in reduced hindfoot dorsiflexion as well as in increased forefoot supination and abduction. Upon clinical examination, restrictions in passive dorsiflexion in ASFF and SFF were significant. During gait, the hindfoot in flatfeet (both ASFF and SFF) was more everted, but less flexible. In sagittal plane, limited hindfoot dorsiflexion of ASFF and SFF was compensated for by increased forefoot mobility and a hypermobile hallux. Concerning ankle kinetics, SFF lacked positive joint energy for propulsion while ASFF needed to absorb more negative ankle joint energy during loading response. This may risk fatigue and overuse syndrome of anterior shank muscles in ASFF. Hence, despite a lack of symptoms flatfoot deformity in ASFF affected function. Yet, contrary to what was expected, SFF did not show greater deviations in 3D foot kinematics than ASFF. Symptoms may rather depend on tissue wear and subjective pain thresholds.Gait & posture 06/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Concomitant procedures are being performed with total ankle replacement (TAR) to improve alignment, function, and mobility. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in outcomes between patients who had a concomitant triceps surae lengthening (gastrocnemius recession [GSR] or triple hemisection [TAL]) versus a group that underwent TAR alone preoperatively and 1 year after TAR.Foot & ankle international. / American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society [and] Swiss Foot and Ankle Society. 06/2014;