The tendon stripper is pushed up along the tendon to remove it from its muscular attachment (Fig. 6.35 and Fig. 6.36). The tendon must be cut free from the bands that attach to the gastrocnemius. If there is even
a small band, it causes the tendon to kink, and the stripper may cut it off short (Fig. 6.37).
The full length of the harvested tendon is usually about 30 cm (Fig. 6.38). The tendon stripper is pushed up the tendon using short strokes. The key is to keep tension on the distal end to prevent the tendon from folding over and being cut off short. There is often resistance at the muscle tendon junction, and the stripper should be rotated to slip it up along the surface of the muscle. This gives extra length. The total length of the tendon is usually 28 to 30cm. If it is shorter, then the physician has the gracilis tendon. The gracilis tendon is harvested in the same fashion.
The video on the CD illustrates these procedures.
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