Hi Parents

Does Heel Cord Lengthening and Heel Cord Release refer to the same procedure or they are different?Thank you.

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Generally these two terms tend to be used interchangeably. They both refer to procedures that involve either completely cutting the Achilles' tendon with a "Z cut", lengthening the tendon then reconnecting it at a longer length, or partially cutting and lengthening the tendon. Both procedures are used to lengthen the tendon to give more range of motion at the ankle.

Hi Kathi

Thank you for the clarification.I think my son may need to go for the procedure and i was not sure what to tell the docs here.Thanks again and good day.



Kathi Kinnett said:

Generally these two terms tend to be used interchangeably. They both refer to procedures that involve either completely cutting the Achilles' tendon with a "Z cut", lengthening the tendon then reconnecting it at a longer length, or partially cutting and lengthening the tendon. Both procedures are used to lengthen the tendon to give more range of motion at the ankle.

Hello Kathi

I hope your day is well.A while back you enlightened me on the meaning of heel cord lengthening/ release procedure.Do you know a good hospital that does this well in your country where i can have my son undergo the procedure?We have good hospitals here in Nairobi but i am not really sure they have much experience in carrying out surgery our DMD boys,who need special handling when going under the knife. Thank you.

Wainaina - This is a fairly common orthopedic procedure.  Institutions familiar with children and cerebral palsey and/or Duchenne should know how to do this.  there are 2 things to keep in mind: 1) the tendons should not be TOO lengthened or the procedure will be ineffective.  2) also, it's important to start standing soon after the procedure.  If you are uncomfortable having this done in Nairobi, any major pediatric hospital in the US could do this.  Also, it is possible to have your surgeon consult with a US surgeon prior to doing the procedure.  Feel free to e-mail me your specific questions or discuss this further: Kathi@parentprojectmd.org; i am available by phone as well (513) 260-4004.  

Thanks,Kathi.My boy had an identical twin brother who died at the age of two while undergoing a thirty minute surgical procedure for a problem the doctors told me is known as hypospadia.They never even touched him with the knife,apparently it was something to do with the anaesthesia.So i am always pretty terrified when i think of my boy going under the knife.But yes,it is a great idea i will have our surgeon get in touch with you prior to the procedure.I will also check with him if it is necessary for them to put him under general anaesthesia or they can do local.Again thanks and have a blessed weekend.

Wow - I am so very sorry. That is scary and I certainly understand your concerns. I am happy to work with you in any way possible to keep this child safe. I'll wait to hear from you.

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