OrthoCare Express Logo | CT Orthopedic Urgent Care
banner lifestyle01

Gastrocnemius Recession (Intramuscular Approach)

« return to animation library



What is Gastrocnemius Lengthening Surgery?

Gastrocnemius lengthening surgery, or calf lengthening surgery is an outpatient procedure used in the correction of conditions such as flatfoot, chronic Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or toe walking. Research suggests that gastrocnemius tightness also plays a role in forefoot pain, Morton’s neuroma and bunions. Gastrocnemius recession lengthens the muscles and tendons at the back of the leg, allowing the heel to shift downward into a more natural position. In many cases, this technique is performed as an alternative to Percutaneous Tendo-Achilles Lengthening, which can permanently weaken the Achilles tendon.

Preparation for Gastrocnemius Lengthening

In preparation for the Gastrocnemius procedure, after anesthesia is administered and the patient is positioned, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin on the inner side of the leg over the calf muscle. The surgeon carefully inserts a retractor between the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle thus creating a working channel between the two muscles

Releasing the Gastrocnemius

The working channel allows the surgeon to access the tight layer of connective tissue that encases the muscle fibers, called fascia, of the gastrocnemius. The surgeon carefully cuts through the fascia across the entire width of the muscle which allows the muscle to relax and lengthen. This in turn, will allow the foot to flex properly.

Aftercare, and Healing Time

When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed and bandaged. The patient may be placed in a postoperative shoe, walking boot or split. The leg will heal within six to eight weeks and physical therapy may be needed to rebuild calf strength. 

The animation content provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any specific questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.