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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Heel Cord
April 2003

Q. My 8-year-old son was born with muscle atrophy on all the muscles on the back side of his left leg. In addition, he is a toe walker and has a very tight heel cord. We have done 8-10 Botox injections, casting, and physical therapy with success--but only with temporary results. At what point to we "bite the bullet" and have the heel cord lengthening surgery done?

A. This is a difficult decision and best made in conjunction with your orthopedic surgeon. You have been following standard, accepted procedures for dealing with a difficult problem. The surgical procedures are done to lengthen the Achilles tendon (heel cord) and allow for a more normal gait and muscle development. Here are some good website references to expand your information on the topic.




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