Tendon Transfer Surgery

What are tendon transfers?

Tendon transfers are surgical procedures that repositions a tendon insertion of a muscle-tendon unit. The muscle remains in normal anatomic position but the tendon now has a new role. The transfers typically improve foot alignment and make it easier to walk. The art of tendon transfer surgeries are time tested and were developed when polio was more common. 

Goals of a tendon transfer?

The primary goal for the surgery is to improve foot alignment and reduce deformity. The foot then can be easier to brace or in some cases the need for a brace can be eliminated. 

When can tendon transfer be considered?

In situations where there is muscle-tendon imbalance and deformity (see example below). Tendon transfers can rebalance and reassign muscle function. Weakness  or foot deformies after:

  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage after accident or surgery
  • Systemic disease

Some of the common transfers are:

  • Posterior tibial to lateral foot
  • Posterior tibial to top of foot
  • Flexor hallucis longus to achilles
  • Flexor hallucis longus to lateral foot
  • Peroneus longus to top of foot


We are your Seattle area Ankle Specialists; we treat the full spectrum of ankle conditions simple to complex.  Whether you are in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bothell, Arlington, Mount Vernon, or Whidbey Island call us today to make an appointment and we can educate you on ankle and foot problems and better yet find solutions!

© 2018 Ankle & Foot Clinics Northwest