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Adductor Releases, Hamstring / Heel Cord Lengthening Care

How Do You Care for Your Child After Adductor Releases, Hamstring / Heel Cord Lengthening (Gastroc)?

Your orthopaedic doctor has recommended that your child undergo surgery to lengthen the adductor tendons (groin area), hamstring tendons (behind the knees), and heel cord tendons (ankle area). Your doctor may call this surgery an “All American Procedure.”

After Surgery

Your child will be admitted to the hospital after having surgery. He or she will be in a body cast from the nipple line to the toes, or have long leg casts on each leg, possibly with a bar between the legs that will spread the legs apart. The cast will stay on about three to six weeks. 

Swelling and bruising in the groin, or private area, is common after this surgery. It may last for one to two weeks, and may be relieved by frequently changing position and putting ice packs to the groin. Your child may also have muscle spasms for several days.

Prescriptions for pain medicine, and medicine to help relax your child's muscles, will be available when you are ready to take your child home.

It is important to keep the groin incisions as clean and dry as possible. Refer to Hip Spica Cast Care for appropriate diapering / care to prevent soiling of the cast.


Your orthopaedic doctor will determine whether your child will be re-admitted to the hospital to have the cast removed and undergo physical therapy (PT). Sometimes cast removal and PT can be done at the doctor's office or clinic.

Sometimes a brace is needed when the cast is removed. If a brace is needed, you will be given a prescription. You will be given help in arranging a visit to a therapist or brace shop, where the braces will be made.

Talk to your doctor about when your child should begin physical therapy. Usually six to twelve weeks after the cast is removed you will have an appointment with your orthopaedic doctor.

Contact Us

To reach the orthopaedic nurse before 4 pm Monday through Friday, call 513-636-4567. After 4 pm and during weekends and holidays, call 513-636-4200 and ask that the orthopaedic resident on call be paged.

Last Updated 05/2016

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