Tendon Transfer Treatment Offered by Top Foot Doctors in Baltimore

The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

At The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy in Baltimore, our surgeons specialize in innovative treatment options, such as a tendon transfer, to restore function and mobility.

What is a Tendon Transfer?

When a tendon around the foot and ankle loses its function, patients can develop pain, deformity, and disability. 

The most common causes for a tendon to fail include trauma, degeneration, and neurologic disease.

When the patient has failed conservative treatments such as bracing and therapy, surgery may be necessary. A tendon transfer involves taking a healthy muscle and tendon from some other part of the foot or ankle and using it to replace the function of the failed tendon. Usually the transferred tendon is not quite as strong as a normal healthy tendon, but this surgery can reliably relieve pain and restore function.  

NEXT: How is a Tendon Transfer performed? ›
How is a Tendon Transfer performed?

The healthy tendon to be transferred is harvested by detaching it from the bone near where it ends. This healthy tendon is then moved near the path where the non-functional tendon normally lives.

The tendon transfer is then anchored to the target bone usually by pulling it through a tunnel drilled into the bone and then fixing it with a screw. The foot and ankle are immobilized and the patient is kept on crutches until the tendon heals permanently into the bone tunnel.

Physical therapy is necessary to teach the transferred tendon its new job.

The most common problems that require a tendon transfer are diseases that affect the posterior tibial tendon (flat foot), Achilles tendon, and anterior tibial tendon.

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