Releasing The Tendons

Garrett Spaulding, 14, born with EB went to the hospital at Stanford University to have a procedure done to release his achilles tendons. Due to the nature of his disease, disuse of his feet due to blistering and pain, resulting in a reliance on a wheel chair, his achilles tendons froze locking his feet in a “ballerina toe” type of position. The procedure was an outpatient procedure. Lasting no longer than 30 minutes the doctor made very small incisions in his ankle where small notches were cut into his tendons in an alternating pattern. This would allow the doctor to bend Garrett’s feet back into a normal position. His legs were then rewrapped and casted to allow the tendons to heal in the proper position. EB, a skin disease that results in constant blistering and breaking down of the skin, in Garrett’s case, requires his bandages be changes every few days. One of the challenges that faced the doctor and Garrett and was how long to leave the casts on before having to reapply new bandages. The casts were to remain on for two weeks, bandages would be changed and casts reapplied. The casts have to remain on for 6 weeks. After the casts are removed Garrett faces the long process of physical therapy to get him walking again.


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