Complications with ATR surgery


I was born with severe clubbed feet and had multiple reconstructive surgeries on both bone and tendon when I was a baby. Last year I tore my achilles tendon while hiking with my sons boyscout troop. I am 37 with three boys and at that time was the leader of their boy scout troop and cub scout pack.

At first I was miss diagnosed as having some type of infection and spent a month in a lot of pain. After being diagnosed I was sent to a surgeon who told me that my tendon was trashed and non operable and not to have surgery that it would do no good and I should try wearing a boot for a few months. Another surgeon told me that surgery would be no problem and I would be fine. I had the surgery and a year and two months later my leg is still swollen red and very painful. I went to see a specialist last week who told me that the first surgeon was correct and that my tendon is now tearing somewhere else and needs to be replaced. They want to do an Achilles tendon debridement with an FHL tendon transfer. I have read both good and bad things about this. She says that I do not have to have the surgery but that I will stay in pain and eventually it will tear all the way again and I will have no choice.

So far online I have not found any posts from people who have had this surgery with similar problems so I was hoping to find someone who has had it that may also have had severe clubbed feet. Or someone with similar problems who have found other methods.

7 Responses to “Complications with ATR surgery”

  1. Breaks my heart to hear that you’ve had more than a year of pain. I don’t have anything specific to offer other than it might be worth it to get in touch with an orthopedic surgeon at the nearest children’s hospital (or university with a strong pediatric program) who specializes in club foot repair and ask them for advice. Your story really illustrates why it is important to get several opinions. Good luck.

  2. Hi, I am sorry to hear that. I was born with severe club feet and am now 26 years old. I just got a partial tear in my achilles tendon and will be going to the doctor on Tues. I would try speaking to several doctors before making any decisions. I hope that you will find the correct advice and guidance you need. God bless.

  3. I am the parent of a 12 year boy born with bilateral club feet. He had to have surgery on one. We were told last week that he is putting stress on his achilles tendon due to sports….which he loves and is very talented in. I was looking at what repair or reconstruction of the tendon was available out there when I ran across your blog. Please pass on any information and I hope you find some answers,

  4. It has been a year. What has happened? My son was born 1 month ago with bilateral club feet and goes in for surgery tomorrow. I know our care will be top notch at Shriners hospital but I have had this fear for a while now. I am sure the lengthening of the Achilles has to put stress on it.

  5. To answer your question yes the lengthening of the Achilles does put additional stress on it. However I did not have problems with that tendon until later in life.

    I had the Achilles tendon debridement with an FHL tendon transfer surgery done in Decmber of last year. It has healed up and a lot of the swelling has gone down. It is still painful to walk and unfortunately other tendons in my right foot have begun tearing as a result of the original surgeries and the angle of my foot when I walk. The only thing I’ve found to help with this is custom shoe inserts which some what balance my foot when walking.

    Also because of the way I have always walked with a slight limp my back has problems that have not been able to be corrected. I am still in a huge amount of pain and am in pain management. I can no longer work because of the severity of the pain and basically have to lay down most of the day.

    I am going to a new pain management clinic that I just started with and am very hopeful that they will fin a solution. I am glad that I had the original surgeries as a child because it enabled me to do things that I would not have been able to do for the majority of my life. It also kept the pain to a minimum as I was growing up.

    If I had it all to do over again, I would have kept my weight way down and would have stayed in better physical shape so that the problems with my back and tendons would have been minimized if not stopped from the beginning.

  6. I have the same problem with my foot, i am 19 years old I have a scar, i can’t lift myself of the ground with my right foot, i was thinking about getting, i was thinking about getting a fourth surgery, but not now, i went to the shriners, and everyone said that there is nothing that they could do. i thought that they might have new tecnoligy that would help me, but i guess not.

  7. I was born with a severe club foot in 1968… Had several heel cord lengthing procedures as a baby… It never stopped me from doing any sports and I even ran track under scholarship at a division 2 school as a sprinter…
    In May of this year I torn my achilles on that foot… I’m a little over 3 months from surgery and I’m doing pretty good…
    I’m wondering how my tendon is going to do when I try to start jogging again due to my problems when born… Just thought I would share…

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