Achilles Lengthening and Multiple Z-Plasty in Parallel for Correction of Toe Walking Associated With Burn Scar Equinus Contracture


      The literature is sparse regarding treatment of burn scar equinus contracture, with focus primarily on staged procedures, serial casting, and gradual correction using external fixation in combination with soft-tissue procedures. This case study describes a single-stage ambulatory approach for late-stage correction of burn scar equinus contracture associated with toe walking. A case report is presented of an 11-year-old male with focus on procedure selection, surgical technique, and 12-month follow-up results. Surgery involved a single-stage approach with open Achilles lengthening, in addition to multiple skin Z-plasty in parallel with immediate protected weightbearing to correct toe walking. Inadequate release of contracture was noted intraoperatively after Achilles lengthening. Full correction was achieved after converting the longitudinal incision into multiple Z-plasty in parallel, with full heel purchase at 2 weeks postoperatively. The patient was completely healed with pain-free range of motion at 6 weeks postoperatively. At 12 months postoperatively, he continued to ambulate normally without overcorrection or recurrence of deformity. This case study describes a late-stage, minimally invasive, single-stage approach to correction of burn scar equinus contracture. The surgical principles and technique are described. Allowance of immediate weightbearing was possible because all other burn wounds were healed at late-stage presentation that avoided the need for gradual correction with external fixation or serial procedures.

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