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).

Follow-up

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.

Our team

Jennifer M. Brey, M.D.
Laura K. Jacks, M.D.
Joshua W. Meier, M.D.
Star L. Nixon, M.D.

Orthopedics – 5678

Contact Us

Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.

(502) 394-5678

Safety City: Field trip destination celebrates 25 years

If you were a second-grader in Jefferson County after 1993, chances are you took a field trip to Safety City. For 25 years, nearly 150,000 second-grade students from private, public, parochial and home school programs […]

Read Full Story

Sleep deprivation with a newborn? Restoring sleep habits may take year

Most parents realize they’re in for some sleep deprivation when having a newborn at home, but now researchers have determined it takes much longer for sleeping habits to return to normal. A recent studyfound sleep […]

Read Full Story

Leukemia in children: What it is, signs and symptoms

Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for almost 1 out of 3 cancers. Most childhood leukemias are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Most of the remaining cases of leukemia in children […]

Read Full Story

Collaborative heart care helps Indiana boy’s Ebstein anomaly

Audrey Sims’ first clue that her twins’ birth would be complicated came at 14 weeks of pregnancy, when a routine ultrasound found that one of her sons, Aiden, had a blocked lymph node, which can […]

Read Full Story

What is congenital diaphragmatic hernia?

Diaphragmatic hernia is a hole in the diaphragm caused by a birth defect. The diaphragm is the large muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. In a diaphragmatic hernia, organs such as intestines, spleen, […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.