Calf Reduction by Selective Nerve Blocking
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
For patients who are unhappy with the proportions of the lower leg due to overly developed calf muscles, there are several option to reduce the size and improve the contours of the leg. Selective nerve blocking is a minimally invasive option for patients who would like to avoid a more involved surgery such as a muscle resection. This surgery, also referred to as a calf neurectomy, severs the nerve that controls part of the lower leg muscles. The lower leg is comprised of the soleus muscle, which provides the majority of the function of the calf, and the gastrocnemius muscles. The gastrocnemius muscles, while important for providing explosive power and foot steadiness, only accounts for about 30% of the function of the lower leg. The gastrocnemius is divided into lateral and medial sections, with the lateral head of the muscle creating the outer edge of the calf and the medial head responsible for the contour of the inner calf. During this procedure, nerve blocking is focused on the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle During the procedure, the patient will be put under general anesthesia. A small, discreet 1.5cm incision will be made behind the knee. The nerve branch that governs the function of the medial gastrocnemius muscle will be identified via an electric nerve stimulator. Once confirmed, the nerve will be completely severed and ligated. In doing so, the medial gastrocnemius muscle will no longer receive stimuli to flex, causing gradual muscle atrophy over the course of 1 month. Incisions will be closed and the same procedure will be repeated on the opposite leg. In recovery it is expected for patients to walk slowly with an unsteady gait, be unable to run, and have general discomfort due to the lack of lower leg support. Normal gait generally returns 1 week postoperatively but final results can take as long as 3 months.
The goal of calf reduction by selective nerve blocking is to slim and contour the calf.
What to Expect
Calf reduction by selective nerve blocking slims and contours the lower legs by blocking the nerves governing the calf muscle, causing the calf to waste away naturally and shrink. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after selective nerve blocking for calf reduction.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications for 2 weeks
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- No alcohol 1 week prior
- General anesthesia
- Small incision behind the knee
- Electric nerve stimulator to identify nerve bundle that controls the medial gastrocnemius
- Nerve bundle is severed and ligated
- Sutures to close
During recovery, it is important to avoid strenuous calf activities since gait will be unstable and unsteady. Wear compression stockings to reduce swelling and enhance calf slimming results. In order to prevent muscular compensatory hypertrophy, it is important to decrease the weight-bearing work or activities of the leg.
The ideal candidate for calf muscle reduction by selective nerve blocking is unhappy with the contours of their lower legs and has moderate muscular thunder hypertrophy.
Not Recommended For
Calf muscle reduction by selective nerve blocking is not recommended for patients who have a history of prolonged healing or have poor blood circulation to their extremities.
Side effects from calf reduction by selective nerve blocking can include inadequate calf endurance, compensatory hypertrophy, scarring, and results short of expectation.