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Podiatry/Calf loosening Surgery Question

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Question
After a car accident in 2005 my right ankle was turned sideways 90 degrees with no major broken bones or torn ligaments and was snapped back in place within 24 hrs.  In 2006 I had ankle surgery that cleaned and smoothed the horizontal front - top of ankle leg bone joint (approximately located above where a shoe lace is tied) this increased my foot's range of motion from front to rear ( up - down movement).  In 2013 I have lost some of this range due to arthritis build-up in the joint restricting movement. Most noticed when walking up stairs or on an incline have to pivoted my right foot outward to walk. Arthoscopic surgery is pending to clean the joint to increase the foot range of motion. I am not in any pain. At the same time there has been discussion about loosening a tight (?) right leg calf muscle (I am an active 57 years old man, non-runner, not in pain).  Looking at three staples in my calf and two extra weeks on crutches plus PT. My question is:

What are the surgical pro's, con's as well as non-surgical alternative(s) for calf loosening surgery?   

My ankle feels tight only in front (when my foot is pivoted fully upward)  not back by my heel or the back of the leg.  I really do not want the calf muscle touched and can discipline myself with Physical Therapy and can push through pain. Please advise.  Thank you

Answer
Ward,

It sounds like you have been through a lot with this ankle.  If you are not having pain in the ankle, there is no reason to have any arthroscopic surgery.  Xrays should always being correlated with clinical findings.  If you don't have any clinical ankle pain, then surgery should not be performed.  The risks outweigh the benefits of performing surgery on a non painful joint.  I'm assuming the calf lengthening is an Achilles tendon or gastroc lengthening.  Again, no pain in the ankle, no surgery.  You can definitely increase your ankle joint range of motion with stretching the Achilles tendon with physical therapy.  I would try that before considering any surgical options.

Sincerely,
Dr. Leslie Johnston, DPM

Tampa, FL
Advanced Podiatry

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Leslie Johnston

Expertise

any podiatry related question. bunions, hammertoes, arthritis in foot and ankle, lumps and bumps, foot pain, ankle pain, neuromas, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, diabetic foot care, ulcers, neuropathy, charcot, ankle replacements, trauma, sports medicine, Achilles injuries, ankle sprains ect.

Experience

Currently working as an Associate for Advanced Podiatry in Tampa, FL. Finished 3 year surgical residency with additional certification in rearfoot and ankle reconstruction. Worked in wound care clinic at Veteran's Hospital using advance wound care techniques.

Organizations
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Publications
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Education/Credentials
DPM degree earned from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine 2005-2009 completed 3 year podiatric medical and surgical residency training at James A. Haley VA 2009-2012. Board qualified status for American Board of Podiatric Surgeons in foot and rearfoot and ankle surgery 2012.

Awards and Honors
1st runner up in Resident case presentations at annual Science and Management Symposium 2012 Who's who among colleges and universities 2009

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