This study from our colleagues in Japan shows remarkably similar results following Achilles tendon lengthening to previous works by our team as well as our colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis.
The recurrence rate of diabetic foot ulcers is high and is related to kinematic factors. Achilles tendon lengthening has been shown to reduce the recurrence rate of foot ulcers by increasing the range of motion in the ankle joint and decreasing the plantar load. However, there are few reports on the effects of Achilles tendon lengthening in Japanese patients, but the results are yet to be clarified. This study aims to investigate the effects of Achilles tendon lengthening on physical function and ambulatory state in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. [Participants and Methods] This study initially included 10 patients with diabetic ulcers who had undergone Achilles tendon lengthening between April 2013 and March 2020. We retrospectively evaluated the factors available from the medical records. [Results] The dorsiflexion range of motion in the ankle joint increased by 10.5 degrees on average after surgery, while the plantar load decreased by 19.1 percent, while gait speed and stride length remained unchanged. [Conclusion] Achilles tendon lengthening for diabetic foot ulcers increased the range of motion in the ankle joint and decreased the plantar load without changing the ambulatory state.