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Slowtwitch Forums: Triathlon Forum:
Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?)

 

   


mboyer

Jun 14, 09 13:33

Post #1 of 13 (9720 views)
Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) Quote | Reply

So I am pushing the lawnmower up a hill and BAM! It felts like some one threw a rock at my calf really hard. I even looked around thinking that I got hit by a stone thrown off by the mower. Pretty painful, but weird, since it didn't feel like an internal stretch. My calf had been sore from a sprint tri for a week and I haven't been exercizing.

I hope this isn't achilles (tell me it isn't...)

But I can't walk with any ankle flextion and can barely flex my ankle without weight on it. Feels like a bad knot toward the bottom of my calf and a little to the inside. Been icing it and starting to swell (2 hours).

How long am I out? Is this a rupture?

Any advice and experience would be appreciated!


rroof

Jun 14, 09 13:39

Post #2 of 13 (9708 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

VERY bad signs and description. That is EXACTLY how most patients describe an achilles tendon rupture - hit with a stick, etc. when doing nothing, but usually a history of soreness and activity prior.

Palpate your other achilles carefully - now the other. Can you feel a "delve"? Either way, this needs attention ASAP - ER not all that helpful (except to get the name of the on call orthopedist) initially.

If you have a relationship with a specialist, call them tom ASAP and explain. Hopefully just a torn distal muscle (no surgery). If achilles, likely surgical repair in younger/athletic people. NO weight right now, keep some ice and compression on.

Good luck!

____________________________________
Fatigue is biochemical, not biomechanical.
- Andrew Coggan, PhD


mboyer

Jun 14, 09 13:56

Post #3 of 13 (9681 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [rroof] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thank you for the response!

What is a "delve"?

i don't have a relationship with a specialist. Should I go to the ER?

Pain is very local in the middle of the calf. no achilles pain/issue bewteen calf and heel (where i have had a few minor achilles problems in the past) and the typical achilles area seems to function normally...


rroof

Jun 14, 09 14:01

Post #4 of 13 (9677 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

"delve" - ah, indentation or separation in the normal feel of the achilles. Hopefully just a plantaris tendon rupture (painful as HE&%, but no surg or serious long term) or distal gastroc muscle tear. Occasionally, this can develop into long term on/off calf issues if not treat right (scar tissue, constriction/lack of blood flow, re-injury, etc.). Again, you will need an MRI to fully evaluate and that isn't usually done via an ER visit.

____________________________________
Fatigue is biochemical, not biomechanical.
- Andrew Coggan, PhD


mboyer

Jun 14, 09 14:07

Post #5 of 13 (9666 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [rroof] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thank you so much for your response!

no void in the area.

seems that the felt-like-i-was-hit-by-a-rock is somewhat common with torn calves as well. http://c600g.blogspot.com/...lf-muscle-redux.html and having heard that with achilles, i was bumming out! certainly a bad situ, but i am icing, compressing and elevating for now and will see. that link shows a pic that is exactly where my problem is, and distal gastroc is the suspect right now. i will let you know

thank you again


Mom2Sean

Jun 14, 09 14:19

Post #6 of 13 (9650 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This happened to me -- exactly how you described it. My injury occurred when I burst off the beach on a cold morning at the start of a race. I was out of the race within the first 2 seconds. Like rroof said -- I didn't really get it treated right away and now I have chronic problems with that leg. I don't know about ER, but your general practitioner should be able to refer you to a good foot/ankle specialist and a physical therapist. I think you are not supposed to try stretching it right now if memory serves me correctly or even put weight on it until you get it looked at. I remember the doctors in the med tent telling me that, if it was a tear, there was a risk of rupture (and I know you don't want that).


orthogirl

Jun 14, 09 16:12

Post #7 of 13 (9570 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

to clarify-- the achilles tendon is the distal insertion of the combined tendons of the gastroc and soleus. super unlikely for plantaris to cause symptoms this dramatic.
this is classic for achilles rupture. this should not need an MRI; if your orthopaedic surgeon feels the diagnosis is unclear, imaging may be warranted, but this is usually a clinical diagnosis.
most young people/athletes have surgery to repair or reconstruct (depending on the the level of rupture you may need tissue augmentation) but you can be treated in a cast only; either way you are looking at being out for a few months more than likely.
you need a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon to get everything taken care of.
good luck.


<O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O>

"But it ain't about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!" -Rocky Balboa


mboyer

Jun 14, 09 18:35

Post #8 of 13 (9501 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [orthogirl] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thanks for the reply...my pain is entirely in the calf and all the googling about achilles ruptures show it closer to the ankle, at the spot one calls the achilles tendon...i have heard plenty of stories about the "getting hit by a rock" sensation, but they all seem to be at the ankle level for achilles and this was in the calf, and i was surprised to hear stories about that in the calf....thompson test is a bit inconclusive, since where one would squeeze, it hurts!

if it is achilles, would the pain and swelling would be justs above the ankle?


Chris G

Jun 14, 09 18:54

Post #9 of 13 (9470 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

look for info on pulled calf muscle, did something similar to what you describe, felt like someone took a hatchet to my calf while running. Thought I was done for a long time. Compression, ice and a gel heel insert for a few days while walking/running was all it took. Ran a half marathon the following weekend.

Obviously very hard to diagnose injuries over the net ;-)


orthogirl

Jun 15, 09 4:47

Post #10 of 13 (9389 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

actually, yeah, it usually is closer to the calcaneus (heel bone.) if it hurts in the bulk of the muscle belly, then it is very possible you pulled or partially tore, but less likely (hopefully) that you have a full achilles rupture. chris g is right though, i'm strictly armchair quarterbacking. see a doctor and get fixed.
cheers.


<O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O>

"But it ain't about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!" -Rocky Balboa


saltman

Jun 15, 09 9:58

Post #11 of 13 (9308 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

IMHO - if it was your achilles, you would know it and you would already be preparing for surgery. It sounds like either a partial tear or just a really severe cramp in the gastroc. I get them frequently, the cramps can actually contract so hard that it causes a mild pull in the muscle. It usually takes about 2-3 weeks to completely heal, about 1 week after I can run very very lightly for about 30 minutes. Ice/Massage for the first few days and resist the temptation to stretch until the acute pain is gone if indeed this is what it is.

Probably best to rule out a more severe tear and the risk of clotting by seeing an ortho.


RFA

Jul 2, 09 20:07

Post #12 of 13 (9095 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Kiri,

I just had the same thing you had. Exactly as you described it. It just happened 3 hrs ago. I am going crazy on the internet trying to find answers. I had a whole season of races planned and it seems like it's all going down now.

I raced a sprint race on Sunday and had a couple of hard workouts this week. Then I was playing ping pong today and all of a sudden, without any extra efforts being done, I felt like somebody shot me in the calf. I felt down unable to stand up and rolled in pain on the floor. Luckily there was a PTst in the gym and helped me diagnose it. She said the achilles tendon is ok. But I have a gastroc tear. By the way it felt, I think it might be quite severe. Maybe even a rupture.

I cannot even stretch my foot. I have iced and elevated. so far.

I saw your post and since it happened 2 weeks ago, I wanted to see how your evolution was and if you have any advice.

Thanks. Ruben.


RFA

Jul 3, 09 7:23

Post #13 of 13 (8992 views)
Re: Is this a torn calf muscle? (and how bad?) [Kiri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Anybody knows how I could contact Kiri?

   
 
 
 



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