Equinus of the ankle is a common deformity in spastic cerebral palsy. Many methods have been developed to lengthen the Achilles tendon to correct the deformity. A new mesh Achilles tendon lengthening (ATL) procedure that might decrease immobilization and promote recovery was performed in 36 tendons with equinus deformity (22 patients, average age=6.2). The results were compared with those of two other methods: the Vulpius group and the Z-lengthening group. The corrected dorsiflexion angle of the ankle at a subsequent 2-year follow-up of the mesh ATL and Vulpius groups matched (25.5±3.0 and 27.1±3.5, respectively), whereas that of the Z-lengthening group was higher (33.9±3.8). Nevertheless, statistics of the timing of each patient's readiness to begin rehabilitation and walking as well as gaining better stability for running and one-legged hopping indicated that the mesh ATL group recovered significantly quicker than the Vulpius and Z-lengthening groups. The mesh ATL procedure achieves a successful correction of the equinus deformity in spastic cerebral palsy comparable with that of the Vulpius procedure, with the advantage of preserving the gastrocnemius without a complete section. This confers greater antigravity stability and quicker recovery in patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine