Surgical anatomy of the gastrocnemius recession (Strayer procedure).
The Strayer procedure (gastrocnemius recession) is a treatment option for patients with clinically relevant gastrocnemius equinus contracture. The purpose of this study was to review the surgical anatomy of the Strayer procedure with specific reference to 1) the location of the sural nerve, and 2) the gastrocnemius tendon release point. Forty consecutive Strayer procedures in 33 patients (15 males, 18 females) served as the study group. Recorded measurements included: 1) the location of the sural nerve relative to the deep fascia, 2) the distance from the medial border of the gastrocnemius tendon to the sural nerve, and 3) the distance from the distal end of the gastrocnemius muscle belly (identified by surface landmarks) to the actual release site. At the point of the gastrocnemius release, the sural nerve was located superficial to the fascia in 17/40 legs (42.5%) and deep to the fascia in 23/40 legs (57.5%). In five legs (12.5%), the nerve was directly applied to the gastrocnemius tendon and needed to be gently dissected off the tendon. The gastrocnemius release point was located an average of 18 mm distal (range, 20 mm proximal to 57 mm distal) to the surface landmark created by the distal extent of the gastrocnemius muscle belly. Knowledge of the relevant anatomy associated with the gastrocnemius recession should allow surgeons to minimize the rate of sural nerve injuries and improve cosmesis by decreasing the length of the surgical incision. A posteromedial incision that begins 2 cm distal to the gastrocnemius indentation and extends proximally will minimize the length of the incision required.