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Foot Ankle Surg. 2013 Jun;19(2):135-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2012.12.002. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Nils Silfverskiöld (1888-1957) and gastrocnemius contracture.

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  • 1Foot and Ankle Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4LP, United Kingdom.


Nils Silfverskiöld was an orthopaedic surgeon, Swedish aristocrat, bon vivant, Olympic gymnast, left wing intellectual and anti-Nazi who described that the force required to dorsiflex the ankle in spastic equinus contracture decreased with knee flexion in isolated gastrocnemius contracture. He advocated detaching the origins of the gastrocnemii from the femur and reattaching them to the tibia. The Silfverskiöld knee flexion test has now also been adapted to distinguish between isolated gastrocnemius contracture and combined shortening of the gastrocnemius-soleus complex in non-spastic contracture by measuring the range of ankle dorsiflexion with the knee flexed and the knee straight.

Copyright © 2012 European Foot and Ankle Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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