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Had a heel chord lengthened in right leg. Not able to move foot joint. Chances of having arthritis?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Hello. When I was a child I had a heel chord lengthened in my right leg, and then the following years had what was called in 1964 a posterior tibial transfer for being pigeon toed. It was not without an effect of course since that leg is thinner and I cannot move the foot joint much. I don't check it very often over the years, but I have always been concerned about the effect of my slight limp and the effects of that surgery when I get older, i.e. whether I will be faced with arthritis in that leg or even in the good leg (which has a larger calf muscle I guess because of compensation). I have tried exercises for the weaker leg, but they don't seem to have had much effect over the years that I have tried them. Thank you.
Posted Wed, 8 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 22 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Due to the surgery, since the movement around your ankle joint is restricted, stiffness is likely but osteoarthritis is an age related degenerative problem of joints mostly seen in the weight bearing joints. Regular exercise will help in preventing any further stiffness and will delay the onset of such degenerative changes.
In case there is development of osteoarthritis, it is likely to affect both of your legs equally.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a heel chord lengthened in right leg. Not able to move foot joint. Chances of having arthritis? 12 minutes later
Thank you, Dr. Tayal. I am very curious to know whether since the 1960s the condition of pigeon-toe has found an alternative to the posterior tibial transfer surgery which could avoid the effects of limping, favoring the other leg, stiffness, thinness of the leg, etc. It even caused a hammertoe in my second toe apparently by virtue of the stiches on the bottom of my foot during the process.

My mother has told me that in the 1960s this procedure was the newest and most successful to help the problem in children. Of course I became inhibited as well in playing sports and riding a bicycle.
Is degeneration or other problems likely to develop in my lower back or hips because of the compensation/limp favoring the other leg?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 10 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
The treatment of pigeon toes depends on the extent of problem. If only toes are affected then braces are given to correct the deformity. In case there is torsion of tibia then surgical correction is needed. The method adopted depends on the response to conservative treatment and degree of deformity present at the time of birth.
The degenerative changes may develop in the lower back due to the incorrect posture. You need to do regular physiotherapy exercises for back and legs to delay the development of such problems.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a heel chord lengthened in right leg. Not able to move foot joint. Chances of having arthritis? 7 minutes later
Thank you. What category or protocol of exercises do you think would be useful to deal with incorrect posture or gait? When I walk I try to remember to go heel-toe in my right foot to offset the limp, but of course it doesn't always work. Many times I have almost tripped or tripped because my foot in front doesn't go up to avoid a rise in the sidewalk or the like.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 12 minutes later
Stretching and strengthening the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups is critical for you. Quad sets are done by contraction the thigh muscles while the legs are straight and holding the contraction for a count of 10. Sets of 10 contractions are done between 15-20 times per day.You can do the required exercises under the care of an expert physiotherapist.
Get your shoes examined for proper biomechanical fit.
Also, maintain a proper posture while working, sitting and standing. Keep your back straight. If you work for long hours on the computer, the following link will tell you the posture to maintain while working:
WWW.WWWW.WW Back strengthening exercises will also help.
It is best to get a proper and personalized exercise schedule chalked out for you with the help of a physical therapist.
Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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