Son is about to have tendon lengthening surgery - anyone have experience to share? — Scope | Disability forum
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Son is about to have tendon lengthening surgery - anyone have experience to share?

lucas2801 Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited February 2017 in Cerebral palsy
My son is 9 years old. He has mild spastic diplegia affecting mainly his right ankle. We are just about to have tendon lengthening surgery and Botox injections after a lot of years of physical therapy and numerous discussions with doctors. Splints in shoes, supportive boots, inserts in shoes, gait analysis,etc. We originally started in UK, now we live in Portugal as my partner is from here so our son is bilingual. Lucas is a very clever boy, excels in school, but the physical side of him has always been a problem. He has been walking on tip toes for a few years on his right foot, which has made the left side take all the weight and has a slight difference in leg length now by a few millimetres. We have not come to the decision to go ahead with the surgery very easily. It would be good to hear if anyone else has been through the same or similar as us and their outcome. Thanks for listening Catherine - Lucas' mum!


  • GeoffBosworth195661
    GeoffBosworth195661 Member Posts: 161 Pioneering
    Hello @lucas2801 welcome firstly with your child been through the amount of changes. I am taking it that your son was born with this and was picked up going through different ordeals of which are necessary. Shorten tendon may cause bone grow abnormally shorten or contracted tendons are present at birth. (A child who is born normal tendons may have developed shortening of fracture crush injury). Also Cerebral palsy similar conditions cause shortening of the tendon because the developing brain is not sending proper messages to the growing muscle and tendon.
    If the tendon interferes in how the joint moves the treatment to improve joint functions is necessary treatment options include therapy casting or splinting as your child as. The goal is to increase the length of the muscle and tendon and thereby improve the range of motion of the joint. The age of your son severity of the shortening and underlying condition will influence the success of the therapy in restoring range of motions. All involved parent, paediatric, orthopaedic surgeon, and therapist. They must have talked for the surgical lengthening of the tendon. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia in the operating room. Please note each child is assessed individually at the time of surgery to determine how much tendon needs to be lengthened. A common technique used is to make "zig-zag" cut in the tendon and allow the two pieces to slide apart . It takes three cuts in tendon the new length of tendon is held in place by stitches in the tendon itself or by putting your child in a cast. After the tendon has healed therapy will be needed to improvement has stabilized. Once active therapy is no longer necessary a home programme of exercise to be done by his family which is naturally provided. The bone will depending on different length may slightly be shorter but in this day and age he as a very good chance to make the bone very close to perfect. Be assured everything is for the best and is future from this will prosper. I hope this as also helped you and other children who are to have it done the each case is different.      


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