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Lengthening achilles tendon reduces recurrence of diabetic foot ulcers

for six weeks to heal.

After seven months, the group that received Achilles tendon lengthening surgery was 75 percent less likely to have an ulcer recurrence than the group who received only a cast; at two years, they were 52 percent less likely to have a returning ulcer.

"Lengthening the tendon causes some weakness in the calf muscles, which can cause unsteadiness, but can be improved with calf strengthening exercises," Johnson says. "Patients also must be cautioned about increased stress on their heel. Nonetheless, we believe the procedure is useful in preventing ulcer recurrence in patients at high risk for skin breakdown and foot amputation."


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Contact: Nicole Vines
vinesn@msnotes.wustl.edu
314-286-0105
Washington University School of Medicine
31-Jul-2003


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