Gastrocnemius Recession (Gastroc Repair)

The gastrocnemius is the larger of the two muscles in your calf, and it connects your thigh bone (femur) to your heel. A tight gastrocnemius can cause Achilles tendon pain and can lead to plantar fasciitis or inflammation in the fibrous tissue along the bottom of your foot. Increasing the length of the gastrocnemius muscle improves flexibility and increases your range of motion, both of which can alleviate the pain in your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.

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Provider List

2900 12th Avenue North #140W & #100E
Billings, MT 59101
(406) 237-5050

When Procedure is Used

If it is determined that a tight gastrocnemius muscle is causing you to experience pain in your Achilles tendon and foot, you will first try to treat the problem nonsurgically, especially with stretching. If nonsurgical methods don’t provide relief, you may benefit from a gastrocnemius recession, or lengthening.

During Surgery

You will most likely receive a localized anesthetic through a nerve block, but patients are given general anesthesia in some instances. Your surgeon will then make a 2-3 inch incision in the middle of your calf in order to access the muscle and surrounding tissue. The fibrous tissue surrounding the muscle will be cut in order to lengthen the gastrocnemius.


The risk of complications is very low, however, potential risks might include:

  • allergic reactions to medications
  • nerve damage
  • bleeding
  • infection
  • weakening of the calf muscle


  • elimination of or decrease in pain
  • greater flexibility of the ankle

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