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Foot Ankle Int. 2011 Apr;32(4):375-9. doi: 10.3113/FAI.2011.0375.

Noninsertional Achilles tendinopathy treated with gastrocnemius lengthening.

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Division of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.



Surgery is frequently considered an option for refractory, symptomatic noninsertional Achilles tendinopathy. Gastrocnemius equinus can result in mechanical overload of the Achilles tendon and may be a factor in its etiology. Our hypothesis was that reducing load transmission to the Achilles tendon by gastrocnemius lengthening (Strayer procedure) may be an effective treatment.


A prospective case series of all patients with a minimum 1-year symptomatic noninsertional Achilles tendinopathy who underwent gastrocnemius lengthening was evaluated before surgery, and at 1 and 2 years after surgery. There were 14 patients (17 tendons).


One year after surgery, the median American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Ankle-Hindfoot score was 100 points, as compared to 71 points preoperatively (p < 0.001). The median total Foot Function Index (FFI) decreased significantly from 39 to 12 points at 1 year (p < 0.001) and remained stable (12 points) at 2 years. An electronic goniometer recorded a mean gain in ankle dorsiflexion of 13 degrees. At 1 year after surgery the MRI in all eight patients (ten tendons) with a preoperative MRI demonstrated a decrease in signal hyperintensity and tendon size, signifying an improvement of the tendinopathy. At 2 years after surgery, patient satisfaction assessment revealed that all but one patient was satisfied with the result and 11 of the 14 (79%) patients were able to resume their previous sporting activities. There were no complications.


Gastrocnemius lengthening was an effective treatment for chronic Achilles noninsertional tendinopathy. Two-year results show good to excellent clinical outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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