Gastrocnemius Recession for Metatarsalgia

Foot Ankle Clin. 2018 Mar;23(1):57-68. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2017.09.006.


Metatarsalgia is a common cause of plantar forefoot pain. Causes of metatarsalgia include foot anatomy, gait mechanics, and foot and ankle deformity. One specific cause, mechanical metatarsalgia, occurs because of gastrocnemius muscle contracture, which overloads the forefoot. Muscular imbalance of the gastrocnemius complex alters gait mechanics, which increases recruitment of the toe extensor musculature, thereby altering forefoot pressure. Patients with concomitant metatarsalgia and gastrocnemius contracture demonstrate ankle equinus and a positive Silfverskiold test. Nonoperative therapeutic modalities are mainstays of treatment. In patients in whom these treatments fail to provide metatarsalgia symptomatic relief, gastrocnemius muscle lengthening is a therapeutic option.

Keywords: Endoscopic gastrocnemius recession; Gastrocnemius recession; Metatarsalgia; Strayer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / surgery
  • Contracture / complications
  • Contracture / surgery*
  • Endoscopy / adverse effects
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Metatarsalgia / etiology
  • Metatarsalgia / surgery*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Tenotomy / adverse effects
  • Tenotomy / methods*