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Rehabilitation

Achillis tendon surgery/AFOs

06/15/2005

Question:

Hi, I asked this question a few weeks ago in a different section and never recieved an answer, but was told it was past onto someone section. I hope you don`t mind if I reask since I didn`t get an answer. I have mild Spastic Cererbral Palsy and use Forearm crutches to move around. Due to my CP my balance isn`t too great and I am not able to move my right foot that well on my own. Around 9 months ago I began to notice that my ankles were stiffer then usual and so I went to my family doctor and he said that I was beginning to get "frozen ankles" and my right foot is inverted some and getting worse. Recently I noticed my muscles getting really tight and uncomfortable. When I first seen a podiatrist he reccomended doing surgery to have the tendons released again.( I had this done already once when I was 3.) I was researching online and I read that having the surgery makes the muscles weaker and I was just wondering if I have it a second time would my ankles be too weak to support me? Also Would anyone be able to give me more information on what the surgery involves and if there are any other options out there? I did recently get AFO`s but I dont see how they help stretch the muscles they seem to just hold my foot in the proper position. Are there any simple exercises I could try to help stretch the muscles? I went to PT and they only gave me 1 exercise to do at home and I feel it doesn`t do much. Thanks for the information in advance I appreciate it.

Answer:

Hello. As opposed to seeing a podiatrist or family doctor, I would suggest that you see a physiatrist, which is a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation. Since these doctors specialize in rehabilitation (and there are physiatrists who specialize only in CP rehabilitation) you are most likely to receive an informed answer that is based on current evidence and practice. I would suggest consulting one of these individuals for an appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment plan. The treatment plan would include use of physical therapy (PT) to increase strength if this is a warranted option.

For more information:

Go to the Rehabilitation health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati