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Preoperative Patient Care
Operative Techniques

Preoperative Plan


Execute a surgical walkthrough

  • describe steps of the procedure to the attending prior to the start of the case
  • describe potential complications and steps to avoid them
  • injury to sural nerve
  • injury to the lesser saphenous vein

Room Preparation


Room setup and equipment

  • standard OR table
  • this procedure is commonly performed as part of a SEMLS procedure (single event multilevel surgery)
  • may need a radiolucent table for the other procedures
  • tourniquet
  • right angle retractors


Patient positioning

  • prone for posterior incision
  • supine for medial incision
  • more conducive to doing concomitent procedures
  • patient is brought to end of table

Strayer Procedure


Makes either a posterior or medial incision

  • makes a 2- 2.5inch incision either posteriorly over the midcalf with the patient prone or medially with the patient supine
  • carry the dissection to the posterior fascia, which is then incised
  • do not confuse this with the gastrocnemius tendon


Protect the neurovascular structures

  • retract and protect the sural nerve and lesser saphenous vein

Fascia Lengthening


Divide the fascia

  • divide the fascia that overlies the superficial posterior compartment
  • place right angle retractor posterior to the gastrocnemius
  • this protects the saphenous vein and sural nerve


Identify the gastrocnemius tendon

  • identify the underlying tendon
  • identify the tendon of the gastrocnemius proximal to the conjoined tendon
  • identify the interval between gastroc tendon and the underlying soleus fascia
  • divide the fascia of the gastrocnemius transversly proximal to the conjoined tendon and leave the underlying muscle intact
  • gastrocnemius recession is done with a 15 blade


Test the lengthening procedure performed

  • test to see if the ankle can be dorsiflexed to ten degrees with the knee extended
  • it is essential that the hind-foot be inverted when performing this test
  • failure to do this will result in dorsiflexion coming from the foot (rather than the ankle) and will result in inadequate correction of equinus

Wound Closure


Perform a multilayer subcuticular closure

  • release tourniquet prior to closure and obtain hemostasis
  • the subcutaneous layer is closed with an absorbable 2-0 suture in a running locking layer
  • the skin is closed with a running, undyed absorbable monofiliament suture and steristrips
  • place in a cast with the foot in 5-10 degrees of dorsiflexion and inverted
Postoperative Patient Care
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