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Gastroc recession

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  #1  
Old 3rd September 2008, 09:04 PM
JennyPenny JennyPenny is offline
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Default Gastroc recession

Has anyone heard of doing a procedure called a Gastrocnemius recession for chronic plantar fasciitis? I've already had a plantar fasciotomy, and the orthopedic surgeon I saw thinks I have scar tissue from the surgery causing some nerve pain, and that lengthening my gastroc muscle while also cutting a small amount of the scar tissue away from my old incision would be a cure for me. Incidentely, he doesn't think I have Baxter's Nerve Entrapment, which is what I thought I might have. This surgeon doesn't even perform plantar fasciotomies for PF; he almost always does this other procedure, with supposedly 60-80% success rate. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 12th September 2008, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

DISCLAIMER:
THE FOLLOWING IS OFFERED GRATIS AS GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, AND, AS SUCH, MAY NOT BE APPLICABLE TO THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONER AND/OR HIS/HER PROBLEM. IT IS CLEARLY NOT BASED ON ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND/OR EXAMINATION OF THE QUESTIONER OR HIS/HER MEDICAL HISTORY, AND IT CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS DEFINITIVE MEDICAL OPINION OR ADVICE. ONLY THROUGH HANDS- ON PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE ACTUAL PATIENT CAN ACCURATE MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS BE ESTABLISHED AND SPECIFIC ADVICE BE GIVEN. NO DOCTOR/PATIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED OR ESTABLISHED OR MAY BE INFERRED. THE QUESTIONER AND/OR READER IS INSTRUCTED TO CONSULT HIS OR HER OWN DOCTOR BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH ANY SUGGESTIONS CONTAINED HEREIN, AND TO ACT ONLY UPON HIS/HER OWN DOCTOR’S ORDERS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. BY THE
READING OF MY POSTING WHICH FOLLOWS, THE READER STIPULATES AND CONFIRMS THAT HE/SHE FULLY UNDERSTANDS THIS DISCLAIMER AND HOLDS HARMLESS THIS WRITER. IF THIS IS NOT FULLY AGREEABLE TO YOU, THE READER, AND/OR YOU HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE AGE OF 18 YEARS, YOU HEREBY ARE ADMONISHED TO READ NO FURTHER.
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Yes, I have heard of it, but I have neither had experience with it nor do I know of a patient who has undergone it. As always, check your surgeon out throughly before submitting to the knife, and get several other opinions through hands-on examination with well-vetted doctors.
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  #3  
Old 25th September 2008, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

two years ago my sister-in-law's orthopedic surgeon had her scheduled for that surgery because of her chronic plantar fascitis.
Her insurance company denied her the surgery because they said that it was experimental.
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  #4  
Old 27th October 2008, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I had a gastroc recession on my left leg in April and am scheduled for my right leg on Dec 11. It sucks, but worked amazingly for me because my Achilles tendons are very tight and have been my entire life. I suffer from daily Charlie Horses and just being uncomfortable overall. My left leg feels awesome, but my right hurts.
It was not a fun healing process because I was in a cast for 5 weeks, but it's what I had to do. :-) Physical therapy was crazy too. At least I learned to walk correctly!

Good luck if you do decide to get it!
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  #5  
Old 16th July 2009, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I know this was along time ago... but are either of you still around? I'm scheduled for this procedure in a couple weeks and want more info. PLEASE!
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  #6  
Old 29th July 2009, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I just saw my Ortho Surgeon today who recommended this for me, as well. He said that it should be a very quick procedure.. maybe only 20 minutes, and that is to do both of my calves. He told me that he is going to do a small incision into the center of each calf muscle (to keep them attractive :-)).. go in, lengthen the muscle... and be done. I was told there will be pain and burning but it shouldn't be anything worse than what I have been dealing with already (that and not being able to run). 6 weeks to recovery, if that and I should still be able to make the Army 10-Miler in DC in October. He did tell me that I should get those sock type things to wear around my calves (I believe he said they were without feet) to just keep my calf muscles from "jiggling" - his medical terminology, not mine... for the first week or so... but he said with doing my surgery on a Friday I should be walking and driving over the weekend and by Monday.

I have the utmost confidence in my doctor... I hope yours goes as well as I think mine will.
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  #7  
Old 12th August 2009, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I know this was along time ago... but are either of you still around? I'm scheduled for this procedure in a couple weeks and want more info. PLEASE!
The gastroc-recession is a very easy procedure that is designed to lenghten the calf muscle and the achilles tendon. the procedure is done at the area where the calf muscle and the achilles tendon meet. This area is rich in blood supply which allows the surgery to heal very quickly. There are several different ways to cut the muscle-tendon junction, but I like to make a cut through the muscle that resembles a top hat. This is called a tongue-in -groove procedure or a "Reverse Strayer". The fibers of the muscle-tendon junction are separated to lenghten the achilles tendon so the foot can dorsiflex (flex up at the ankle) further. The muscle-tendon junction is then strongly sutured together in a longer position, and the skin is closed. The procedure is done for many reasons including plantar fascitis, Posterior Heel spurs, and achilles tendon tears due to a tight calf muscle. A tight calf muscle forces you to put more pressure to the balls of the feet while walking constantly straining the plantarfascia and causes your feet to turn out.
Following the procedure, I put my patients in a non-weight bearing cast for two weeks, followed by a weight bearing cast for two weeks, and then the pateint is sent for physical therapy to strenghten and stretch the achilles and calf muscle for at least two weeks.
The procedure can be performed by your local orthopedist or Podiatrist. I have done hundreds of these procedures with great results. In fact, I'm doing one tomorrow for a 60 year old lady with a partial achilles tendon rupture with multiple calcifications in the distal end of her achilles tendon. Good luck on your surgery.
Dr. B (Podiatrist)
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  #8  
Old 4th February 2010, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I just had the surgeries Nov. 5th and Dec. 24th. I was in a walking boot for 3 weeks while it was healing. I had intolerable pain on the outside and inside of my feet. It felt like the upper foot area was in a vise after each work day. Doctor stated I had tight calf muscle that restricted the range of foot movement. The surgery corrected my feet at resting by 15-20 degrees.
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  #9  
Old 4th February 2010, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I had GR and PF release done 3 weeks ago - 2 weeks with "ski boots" and now for the next month only wear them at night.
Walking is tough - very very slow - feet swell if not elevated during the day periodically.
Hoping to cure PF that I've had for 12 years now.

Ray
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  #10  
Old 6th February 2010, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I had GF 3 days ago, I feel great. Minimal pain. The whole experience was very positive. Its just the walking boot that sucks...very slow..I'm crossing my fingers it worked.
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  #11  
Old 28th February 2010, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I'm getting ready to take my 10 yr. old in for this surgery. He has walked on his toes his entire life. He is able to run and play like everyone else but gets tired easily and runs very clumsily. He'll be in casts for 6 weeks, ugh!!! I'm hoping this will help him with coordination and get him off his tip toes. If anoyone has advice for me on what to expect, I'd love to hear it. I hope I'm making the right call in doing the surgery.
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  #12  
Old 10th March 2010, 02:27 PM
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Unless one is obese and/or not very active, I would never consider this procedure for plantar fasciitis. I certainly would never consider it if you are athletic. You will likely never be able to run the same again. The calf weakness and atrophy are very impressive after this procedure (which is the intent of the procedure) especially if not casted (nonweightbearing) for a period of time after. The calf strength NEVER returns to full power even with aggressive PT. Yes, it is a valuable, needed and effective procedure for disorders such as flatfoot with a legit pathologic equinus, but not necessary for plantar fasciitis. Any foot and ankle surgeon who is reasonably active would never want this procedure done on themselves!

hope this helps
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  #13  
Old 10th March 2010, 11:21 PM
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On reading this topic I realise that I had this surgery in 2003; I never knew what it was called though!! I hope it works for the people on here but it was certainly a mistake for me. It was done on my left leg because my Achilles tendon was very tight and the lack of dorsiflexion caused a lot of problems on the ball of my foot and my ankle.

I am very unhappy about the way my calf looks since the operation. I saw the previous mention of the way it is cut, well I don't know how mine was done but my calf is now considerably smaller than the right one and has a noticeable dip in the back of it. Also, as the foot specialist mentions in the last post, if I even break into a jog, within the first few steps my calf just tightens and is painful. Discovering that my tight Achilles tendon was a symptom of an ankle impingement so the operation was never going to improve the dorsiflexion made me rue the day I had this surgery.

I would say to anyone to make sure that this surgery is right for them because you can regret it for a long time.
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  #14  
Old 27th March 2010, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I just had this done 3 days ago. My achilles doesn't hurt anymore. I will say I have had a couple of times that I put my foot down and I thought I was going to flip with the pain. My dr. said that of all the surgeries he has done of this kind I am the one who needed it the most. He could not believe how tight my calf muscles are in the one leg. I am on crutches for a week, and the cast boot for a total of 6 weeks. We tried to avoid this surgery and it just didn't happen. I know that I am out of PT for at least 4 weeks. I pray that it goes well so that I can walk pain free again.
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  #15  
Old 2nd May 2010, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I am having this surgery on my left left this Friday and I am so excited. I am 51 years old, could never touch my toes, run for a long time, do a split (wanted to cheer in High School) and walk for a long period of time. I just had knee replace surgery a year ago, my hips hurt and now I found out I have disc problems in my back, all caused by this. Until my feet really started to hurt me and a second opinion, I found out this is what I need. If anyone checks back in that posted who had the surgery let me know how you are doing. Thanks.
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  #16  
Old 14th May 2010, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I had my gastroc recession done about 2 weeks ago and I feel great. I am in my early 40's and I was just starting to see some problems developing in my foot.

I had a cast on for the first 2 weeks and now I am supposed to be no weight bearing but my calf feels great. I was out watering the garden today just wearing my tennis shoes and being really careful.

At this point my doctor seems to be most concerned with me simply injuring the gastroc and requiring major surgery to repair it. I will start PT in a couple of weeks, wish i could start next week, but I know that it needs a little more time to heal before I start really using it.

How quickly have any of you started putting weight on yours?

Jack, AZ
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  #17  
Old 29th May 2010, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

In May 2008 I had surgey for a Haglunds Deformity on my right foot. The surgey worked really well and I had the left foot done in January 2009. The surgeon at the same time did a gastroc reession as my calf was very tight. Sadly the op on my left leg was not as successful as the right. A lot of scar tissue built up internally around the incision, despite massage and physio. Ultimately my calf was more tight than previously, and I could barley run for a bus. In Febuary 2010 the surgeon tried again. He removed the scar tissue and re-lengthed the muscle. I was immediately weightbearing after the surgery to see if that would prevent the build up of scar tissue, but it hasn't. I now have pain in the ankle area (may be the tibialis posterior), so I can't stand on my toes. The tendon/muscle is so tight I feels like it may tear even when I do this movement non-weight bearing. If I could go back, I would never have had the recission done.

Make sure this is the surgery you need.

I would love to hear if anyone else has had the same problems.
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  #18  
Old 29th May 2010, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Your experience demonstrates and underscores the folly in soliciting anecdotal evaluations of procedures and treatments from lay persons . . something I have railed against here (often to the vociferous displeasure of others) for years. They are at best, uninformative and unreliable, and at worst dangerous. Had you been asked about your opinion of the procedure after the first surgery, you would have lauded it. But had you had the second experience first and had been asked the same question, your remarks would have been skewed by 180 degrees. A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and I again caution all to take with but a grain of salt either the praise or denunciation of a procedure or treatment based on an insignificant number of experiences. Better rely on the cumulative knowledge of those those in the profession who have had multiple experiences with such procedures and treatments and can make evaluations which are based on numbers which are of statistical value.

That being said . . your closing remarks are to be heeded. Make sure ANY surgery is something you really need and be very wary of "add-on" procedures for complaints for which you didn't come to the doctor. Be your own advocate, obtain independent information from responsible and knowledgeable sources and obtain second or even third opinion when you are uncertain. In the end, there are no guarantees in medicine, but doing your own research BEFORE and not AFTER an irreversible treatment is something which you owe to yourself. No one doctor is always right.
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Last edited by FootDoc; 29th May 2010 at 03:52 PM.
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  #19  
Old 19th July 2010, 04:16 PM
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Angry Re: Gastroc recession

I had this same surgery done on my right leg back in May it went well then had it done on my left leg in June it went awefull my leg keeps swelling my doctors never gave me any PT for either leg I can't even run now with my kids my walk if funny and the scars are horiffic. Please I advise anyone who is going to do this make sure it is the right decesion because it can leave you very unhappy with the out come of the surgery. Now when I go to my doctor and explain this to him he acts like oh well what is done is done. I am now seeking other advice.
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  #20  
Old 27th July 2010, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I had Gastrocnemius Recession 5 years ago due to Plantar Fascitis (spelling?) in my right foot that was horribly excruciating. I had had several injections in my foot and nothing seemed to work. Finally, I went to a new doctor who looked at the flexation of my foot and said that he believed I had a tightening calf muscle. I went in for the surgery and it was the absolute best thing I have ever done; surgery was quick, inexpensive and after a few weeks in a walking cast I was back to normal. I have not had any pain what-so-ever since and I am on my feet a lot; and it has been 5 years

Good luck!

Dy
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  #21  
Old 14th August 2010, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

I had this procedure done a week and a half ago. Expect a lot of pain during the recovery. I had a block for the first three days and that was great. After it wore off, I had pain like a severe charlie horse in my calf whenever I held it vertical. If it is elevated, the pain subsides somewhat. Expect to lay on the couch for two weeks and do nothing!!!!
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  #22  
Old 23rd August 2010, 05:24 PM
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Smile Re: Gastroc recession

I had my gastroc repair done on 8/6/10. Walking boot two weeks. Just got staples out today and the go ahead for walking as tolerated out of the boot. I did ice frequently for the first 8-10 days which made a huge difference in the amount of pain medication needed. I alternated motrin and tylenol round the clock from 3rd day until about 8th day. Used vicodin for first 48 hours or so. Yes, it was a lot of laying around and I'm getting a bit of swelling on the outside of ankle if I'm up for too long. Incision is about 2 inches, steri-strips for a couple more days. I have had great luck with another incision using a scar therapy cream and it is on the inside edge of leg so not really that noticable. Slight dent just above incision but it was where the boot pressed in, I'm confident it will improve as the strength comes back. Procedure was on a Friday and I worked the following week but kept foot up as much as possible and had my ice pack that I could slide down inside the boot. I can not say enough about ice!! I had an ace wrap as well which was the most annoying because it would bunch up a little on top of my ankle. Sleeping with foot up was most comfortable but I'm walking today in normal shoes. Walking is slow but it was like walking on dagers before teh surgery so I'll take slow. It feels odd in a shoe now and I'm anxious to see ongoing improvement but I have absolutely NONE of the horrible pain I was dealing with before. This was a decsision after more than 5 years of PT, shots and various inserts which were costly, and never, never walking barefoot or in sandles. I'm finding that I will not need any of the arch supports that were previously prescribed. I was given home stretches to increase as comfort increases but I'm here to say the pain before the surgery was so much worse than any of what has gone on since the surgery. I hope this helps anyone contemplating the procedure. With anything there are risks but make sure you have a qualified doctor that has done the procedure on many patients. Ask lots of questions and find out what that doctors success rate from patients has been. Happy in Michigan.
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  #23  
Old 24th August 2010, 04:59 PM
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After suffering with sever pain in both my heels for the past 2 years, I had a Gastroc recession done on my right leg in late May. My intent is to get the left leg done in the fall. However, I am not convinced the surgery was successful in eliminanting the heel pain as I was led to believe. I spent 2 weeks on crutches with a boot, and then approximately 6 weeks walking in a boot. It has now been 3 months, and I am still experiencing swelling in my right leg, tightness, and pain in my heel. The pain in not currenlty as intense in my right heel as in my left heel, however, it is enough to queston the sucess of the surgery. I am a runner and triathlete, and currently I cannot walk distances without discomfort and pain, let alone run. I am seeking other advise as I am not totally satisfied with my surgeons ongoing advise, which is "give it time". I would welcome other comments from those who have had severe heel pain and the course of action taken.
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  #24  
Old 27th August 2010, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Hello all,
I am a 34 year old male. I have been suffering with flatfeet for a few years. My left foot seems to tolerate and feel good with just about any orthotic I use.
Unfortunately, almost every orthotic I use (2 from podiatrist and 1 from a "foot solutions" company) I continue to have a lot of pressure in the arch area and I would say discomfort. I would love to exercise (some) even a little jogging, but it is just not possible with an uncomfortable orthotic. I can't even walk for a long distance carrying my 2 year old daughter.
My podiatrist is pretty convinced due to the lack of dorsoflexion in the leg, ongoing issues, and lack of comfort with the orthotic, that I am a good candidate for teh gastroc recession.
Very curious (ALL COMMENTS WELCOME) about the "typical" post-operative recovery.
I intend to be out of work for about 7 days, work a day, and then out for a few more.
I am not having any other foot work done. Just the gastroc recession.

questions include:
1. If able to elevate my foot every so often, is it reasonable to return to work in about 1 week?
2. For how long are you on crutches?
3. How long in the CAM boot? My podiatrist will not be doing any cast. I will go straight into the CAM boot.
4. Can you drive! I guess many drive with their left foot?

Thanks
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  #25  
Old 27th August 2010, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Quote:
Originally Posted by alewisdvm View Post
Very curious (ALL COMMENTS WELCOME) about the "typical" post-operative course
Okay . . Here's MY comment which I will take you at your word will be welcomed:
For GOD'S sake man. You can't get a realistic picture of what a "typical" post-operative course is like from a potpourri of anecdotes from one-time experiencers. What matters is what YOUR doctor's patient's post-operative experiences have been like. If you have chosen a doctor whom you do not trust to give you a realistic picture of what his/her patient's post-operative experiences have been, then perhaps you chose the wrong doctor.
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  #26  
Old 10th September 2010, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Hello,
No concerns at all with my current podiatrist. I was curious if there was any paritcular typical course of recovery to expect. I did talk with my podiatrist who clarified.

My greater question is regarding the use of the gastroc slide for people with flat feet where the foot simply will not "accomodate" the new orthotic. I have gone through 3 orthotic molds, with some adjustments and lowering of the arch area to try and get the orthotic comfortable, but no luck.

No plantar fascititis, no current ankle issues, but the pressure on the arch from the orthotic is just a little uncomfortable.
So, even without the above issues, is a gastroc release a good procedure in this situation?
Or, even with the gastroc slide, am I going to feel pressure in the arch area with the orthotic?
Thank you
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Old 4th November 2010, 12:16 PM
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Angry Re: Gastroc recession

I had this surgery done 8/19/2010....was in the walking cast up until the end of September. My ortho dr didn't have me go for physical therapy cause he doesn't really believe in it. So needless to say i have no muscle tone or strength in my right leg at all cause i was in the boot. I was cleaning one day and felt a pop in my leg...went to see the dr and he thought that i just tore some scar tissue. Told me to wear a shoe now and that i would be fine to walk. Later that night i was going to meet up with friends and when i went out to my car i feel down about 5 stairs. Hurt my leg again...but this time i couldnt even walk on it or put any pressure on my leg. I ended up having to take a an ambulance to the er..where they told me not to weight bear until i saw the ortho. I went the following day and they said they thought i had a bad sprain...the dr i saw asked me how long i have been in physical therapy and i told him my surgeon never had me do therapy...he said that i have a long road ahead of me...i just started physical therapy 2 weeks ago and i am told i have until Feb to be healed...maybe even longer...If i ever knew that things would be like this i would have NEVER had this done! But the surgeon said that it was a simple and easy procedure. That was a lie....i can't do alot of things now...and i have to wear the walking cast half a day for several weeks!
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  #28  
Old 8th November 2010, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Can anyone help me. Was playing badminton tonight and tore a muscle in my right leg going for a shot. Pain was very sudden and I was worried I'd torn a tendon. On visiting the walk-in (or hop-in) centre and was told it was Gastoc........ something or other. Does anyone know how long I can suspect to be off work? How long before I might be able to play badminton again? etc. Any physio idea, etc?

Many thanks

Michael
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  #29  
Old 28th November 2010, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I'm getting ready to take my 10 yr. old in for this surgery. He has walked on his toes his entire life. He is able to run and play like everyone else but gets tired easily and runs very clumsily. He'll be in casts for 6 weeks, ugh!!! I'm hoping this will help him with coordination and get him off his tip toes. If anoyone has advice for me on what to expect, I'd love to hear it. I hope I'm making the right call in doing the surgery.
I have twin 9 year olds that have this surgery scheduled for the exact reasons you state in a month. How did it go? Is he doing better? How was recovery? Did he go to school with the casts? Did he stay overnight?
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  #30  
Old 28th November 2010, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Gastroc recession

A gastroc recession was performed as part of a flat foot reconstruction. In my case, proceedure did not cause any problems or complicatons. Then again, the process of going from NWB to partial weight and full weight bearing was slow. It took 3 weeks to be able to fwb which gave me the chance to slowly build the muscles and stamina needed. I have no residulal weakness from the gastroc recession. Each person is different as is the technique performed by the doctor so my results may not be the same as yours
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