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Calf reduction by selective neurectomy

Calf reduction by selective neurectomy is also described.

 

A selective neurectomy (denervation, nerve transection) is the separation of the nerve trunk which innervates the gastrocnemius muscle. If your calf consists mainly of fat then a calf liposuction will be the solution.

After the neurectomy, the muscle atrophies, reducing the muscle’s volume. This effect, however, cannot be compared with that of removing the gastrocnemius muscle. A neurectomy can achieve a reduction in volume between 1.5 and 3cm. This is due to the fact that a large amount of the calf muscle’s volume remains despite attrition. In addition, the calf muscle may be innervated from individual nerve branches which do not originate from the typical bundle in the hollow of the knee. These branches could partially replace the lost nerve trunk and in doing so prevent the desired muscle attrition.

Generally only a selective neurectomy is employed for calf reduction. The surgeon only separates the nerve branch which connects to the inner head of the gastrocnemius muscle. The doctor does not separate the branch connecting the lateral muscle head, due to it’s close proximity to the nerve branch of the soleus muscle. The patient will experience loss of function if a neurectomy is performed on the soleus muscle.

Advantages:

  • If the nerves are not atypically placed then the intrusion is minimal.
  • Post operative recovery is short.

Disadvantages:

  • On occasion, the nerves are placed atypically; the results are therefore hard to predict.
  • If the nerves are placed atypically this could cause injury to other calf muscle’s nerve branches, resulting in a weakening of calf function.
  • Significantly less calf reduction.
  • A neurectomy is performed on a healthy muscle.

 

Despite selective neurectomy there are other options for reduction calfplasty. You can read about them in our articles about botulinum toxin and radio frequency.