Heel cord lengthening
What is heel cord lengthening?
A heel cord (Achilles) lengthening surgery helps ease limited motion in a child’s joints. Heel cord lengthening can help improve the position of your child’s foot.
This surgery is suggested when the health care provider believes that your child’s foot or feet may become flatter. If left untreated, the condition could need surgery to fix the bones. Also, if left untreated, a bunion is more likely to form.
How it’s performed
This surgery usually is done as an outpatient, and your child can go home the same day. The surgery is done through small incisions over the back of the lower leg. After the surgery, your child will be in a cast from the toes to the knee.
Your child can stand and walk in the cast immediately after surgery. He or she should have a removable knee brace to wear over the cast and a well-fitting ankle-foot brace ready to wear after cast removal. The ankle-foot brace can prevent flat feet from happening again and helps prevent soreness after cast removal. The ankle-foot brace must be worn about 20 to 24 hours. Your doctor will adjust time in the brace down to at least 16 hours per day (including wearing it at night).
After surgery, your child will need physical therapy twice a week for two months, then weekly for two months, then twice a month. This should be scheduled to begin within a week or two of the surgery, at the latest. Parents will need to make the physical therapy appointments.
Your child may need to sleep in an ankle-foot brace and a knee immobilizer (at least one at a time) for at least a couple of years. They may be required for life to prevent the ankles and knees from tightening up again.
Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.
Hey there! My name is Eleanor and I’m 8 years old. I love drawing and art. I also really like to play with Legos with my little sister. I’m in the second grade, and the […]Read Full Story
Your child has an accident and your pediatrician’s office is closed; or maybe you’re traveling. When your child needs emergency care, it’s tempting to go to the closest hospital or immediate care center so he […]Read Full Story
The 10th annual Bourbon & Bowties celebrated all of the event’s honorees from the past nine years. Each of these remarkable honorees represents the more than 150,000 children who receive care at Norton Children’s Hospital […]Read Full Story
Walmart Inc. has announced it will commit the next $3 million it raises in the Louisville area to support the Norton Children’s Hospital “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center. This amount, which will be given […]Read Full Story