Endoscopic Gastrocnemius Recession



Percutaneous techniques are becoming popular for treating many musculoskeletal conditions. Those developed for endoscopic carpal tunnel and plantar fascial release are currently among the most common. The reported benefits of endoscopic surgery include smaller incisions and shorter postoperative recovery time.1–3 Visualization with an endoscope may also decrease perioperative complications from scarring such as incisional irritation or neuritis, although the overall safety of these interventions has yet to be determined. An endoscopic means of gastrocnemius recession (EGR) has recently been popularized for correction of ankle equinus contracture as an alternative to formal open gastrocnemius release (OGR) or Achilles tendon lengthening.4–21 The OGR remains today’s gold standard for aponeurotic lengthening because of its proven record as a safe, rapid, and effective procedure. This open “slide,” however, can involve a large unsightly incision, which is particularly unpopular with young women, and can be associated with sural nerve scarring and neuritis.11,14,15,19,22 The EGR, an alternative percutaneous approach, has been sought in an effort to avoid those problems, but it has a significant learning curve, can be associated with poor visualization, and is somewhat instrument dependent.14,17 In consideration of its potential advantages and drawbacks, the authors have tried over the last several years to develop a safe and reliable endoscopic technique for gastrocnemius recession.


Sural Nerve Medial Gastrocnemius Ankle Dorsiflexion Lateral Gastrocnemius Plantar Fasciitis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Foot and Ankle, Department of Orthopedic SurgeryBrown University Medical School, Rhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA

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