July 2012

Effects on plantar flexor endurance, power linger after gastroc recession

In the moment: Ankle

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Tasks requiring plantar flexor endurance and push-off power remain difficult for patients long after an otherwise successful gas­tro­cnemius recession for treatment of Achilles tendinopathy, according to findings presented in June at the AOFAS meeting.

In 13 patients an average of 20 months following gastroc recession for Achilles tendinopathy, researchers from the Roch­es­ter, NY, campus of Ithaca College found that Foot Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) scores for self-reported function were 89.7% for activities of daily living and 71% for sports and recreation. However, heel raise endurance for the involved limb was significantly lower than in the uninvolved limb and in 10 control participants, and the pow­er drop between limbs during a step-up was significantly greater in the surgical group than in the controls.

“These measures may be more sensitive indicators of muscle recovery and more representative of what patients actually complain about,” said Deborah Nawoczenski, PT, PhD, a professor of physical therapy at the university who presented the findings at the AOFAS meeting.

Nawoczenski D, Tome J, Cantor M, et al. Evaluation of ankle plantarflexion endurance and power following gastrocnemius recession for Achilles tendinopathy. Presented at the Ameri­can Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, June 2012.

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