Achilles Reconstruction with FHL Tendon Transfer

Achilles Surgery | Achilles Reconstruction Manhattan | New York City | NYCThe Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. If the tendon is stretched out too far, it may tear, or rupture, or degenerate causing  pain in the ankle and lower leg that can make it extremely difficult, or even impossible, to walk. Achilles tendinosis may be caused by various factors, including a sports injury or trauma, or by repetitive athletic activity. A chronic Achilles tendinosis  usually requires surgery to repair or reconstruct the tendon.

The  flexor hallucis longus, or FHL, tendon is most commonly used to reconstruct and augment the Achilles tendon. The FHL tendon originates from the fibula in the leg and passes through a band of tendons toward the rear of the ankle, and extends through the mid-foot into the big toe. The FHL reconstruction involves transferring the tendon through the damaged Achilles tendon, and attaching it the heel bone.

Reasons for Achilles Reconstruction with FHL Tendon Transfer

The tendon transfer is needed if greater than 50 percent of the Achilles is degenerative, or if an Achilles rupture has not been treated with surgery initially resulting in a large gap between tendon edges.

The Achilles Reconstruction with FHL Tendon Transfer Procedure

The FHL reconstruction involves transferring the tendon through the damaged Achilles tendon, and attaching it the heel bone.The procedure is performed after general anesthesia has been administered. The patient is positioned lying flat, with his or her chest down on the operating table.

Results of Achilles Reconstruction with FHL Tendon Transfer

Following an Achilles reconstruction with FHL tendon transfer procedure, patients need to avoid placing weight on the foot and are required to wear a cast for approximately 4 weeks. Once the repair has healed properly, the patient can begin bearing weight again. Physical therapy is usually necessary for several months to help rebuild strength and restore full function in the area. Complete recovery from an Achilles tendon reconstruction with FHL tendon transfer may take up to six months.

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Dr. Hubbard’s goal as a Foot and Ankle Surgeon is to provide expertise in achieving an accurate diagnosis, implementing exceptional surgical technique whenever indicated, and most importantly, utilizing practical judgment to devise an effective individualized treatment plan that will restore the patient’s foot or ankle health and function, improving their overall quality of life.

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