Functional Outcomes of Isolated Gastrocnemius Recession


The effects of gastrocnemius recession on strength and function are underreported. This prospective study reports strength and functional effects after isolated gastrocnemius recession. Patients (n D 20) underwent an isolated gastrocnemius recession for foot and ankle conditions with associated gastrocnemius or gastrocnemius–soleus contracture. Eight patients prospectively underwent range of motion (ROM) and Biodex testing preoperatively and at 3 and 6 months postoperatively. Foot Function Index (FFI) assessed functional outcomes. Repeated measures analysis of variance with Bonferroni post hoc testing compared variables across three time intervals. Control and operative sides were compared with t tests. Mean patient age was 61.1 š 13.3 years. Significant improvement in FFI was observed at 3 and 6 months (p D .001). Ankle dorsiflexion improved 11° between preoperative and 6-month postoperative intervals (p D .018). No differences were observed in Biodex testing. Results demonstrate improved ROM and FFI of the gastrocnemius recession between preoperative and 6-month postoperative intervals for isolated gastrocnemius and gastrocnemius–soleus contracture. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 27(2):125–130, 2018)
Key words: equinus contracture, gastrocnemius contracture, gastrocnemius recession, Strayer procedure

Cory Messerschmidt, MD; Anuj Netto, MD; William R. Barfield, PhD; Christopher Gross, MD; and William McKibbin, MD