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gastrocnemius muscle tear

An excessive strain can tear this tissue so that any strength imparted by cohesion of the muscle fibers is lost. The application of an ice pack or cold compress right after an injury to the gastrocnemius muscle will help reduce the pain and inflammation. With calf muscle tears, the muscles of the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged. 24/7 appointment scheduling: Gastrocnemius strain. Also located behind the knee, the gastrocnemius is larger than the soleus. An injury to this muscle is sometimes called “tennis leg.”. Middle-aged athletes with tight calf muscles taking part in physical activity are commonly affected by this injury; however, Often referred to as the calf muscle, it is located behind the tibia (shin bone) and works across both the knee and ankle joints. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Affects medial head of Gastrocnemius. Persons with hearing or speech disabilities may contact us via their preferred Telecommunication Relay Service. A torn calf muscle, also known as a calf strain or pulled calf, is a common and often painful injury. The gastrocnemius muscle is one of the calf muscles (triceps surae) in the superficial posterior compartment of the leg which sits superficial to the much larger soleus muscle.It gives the calf its distinctive two-headed appearance and is a primary plantar flexor. A calf strain occurs when the muscle in the back of the leg sustains this type of injury. It attaches externally above the knee and travels down the calf posteriorly and inserts into the heel bone. A medial gastrocnemius strain (MGS) is a specific type of injury to the calf muscle in the back of the leg. The injury occurs at this junction between the muscle and tendon. Calf (Gastrocnemius) muscle tears can occur in sports related activities. Bright JM, Fields KB, Draper R. Ultrasound diagnosis of calf injuries. What Is Causing Your Achilles Tendon Pain? Value of Doppler ultrasound in diagnosis of clinically suspected deep vein thrombosis. Medically reviewed by Laura Campedelli, PT, DPT, Medically reviewed by Anita C. Chandrasekaran, MD, MPH, Medically reviewed by Stuart Hershman, MD, Medically reviewed by Mohamad Hassan, PT, DPT, Medically reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD, Verywell Health uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Medial Gastrocnemius Strain Overview and Treatment, Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved, Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Gastrocnemius considered at high risk for strains because crosses two joints (knee and ankle) and has high density of type II fast-twitch muscle fibers Classic mechanism of injury: sudden knee extension with foot in dorsiflexion resulting in immediate pain, disability, and swelling Is Your Calf Muscle Pain Just a Strain or Something Else? In particular, the musculotendinous junction (MTJ), where the tendon joins the muscle belly is a very common point to be injured. The muscle inserts into the Achilles Tendon along with other muscles. These muscles can be injured if they get overstretched. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. It is one of the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg. Localized to musculotendinous junction. Understanding Gastrocnemius Muscle Tear. A gastrocnemius muscle tear is a severe, sudden injury to your calf muscle. It also helps you do quick movements, such as jumping and sprinting. Find out about the causes, symptoms and available treatments. Gastrocnemius Tear The gastrocnemius muscle, commonly referred to as the calf muscle, is responsible for “jumping off” or acceleration movements. Your doctor will listen to your report of the injury and do a physical examination. Injury to a calf muscle can range from a strain or pull that you can treat at home to a more serious tear that may need a … Acute compartment syndrome, when pressure builds up in the muscles of the foot and impedes blood flow, Deep vein thrombosis, when blood clots form in the veins of the legs. It is an overuse injury which is more common in runners and sprinters. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. Sudden changes in direction when running can overstretch the muscle and lead to a tear, especially in the position where you are flexing the ankle and extending the knee at the same time. The calf is made of three major muscles, the medial and lateral gastrocnemius and the soleus muscle. Complications of gastrocnemius muscle tear Calf weakness Acute compartment syndrome, when pressure builds up in the muscles of the foot and impedes blood flow Deep vein thrombosis, when blood clots form in the veins of the legs Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. This injury may be more common in individual who have less consistency in physical activity which can lead to loss of strength and flexibility in the muscles, tendons and ligaments thereby increasing the chance of injury. Such movements include jumping or quickly changing direction. © 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. While treatment is almost always accomplished with si… A calf strain is caused by a tearing of part of the gastrocnemius or soleus . Treatments may include: Rest. You must be able to walk without pain before you are ready to return to exercise and sports. By using Verywell Health, you accept our. Stuart Hershman, MD, is a board-certified spine surgeon. Sign up and learn how to better take care of your body. Medicina (Kaunas). At 9-month follow-up post injury, there was no residual impairment in the gastrocnemius muscle function. A torn gastrocnemius muscle is a severe injury to the back of the calf area of the leg. If a deep venous thrombosis is suspected, a Doppler ultrasound may be done. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might also be used. Click below and just hit send! The gastrocnemius is the muscle in the calf that it is most common to strain. A torn plantaristendon may also be identified. Once the earliest phases of treatment have completed, patients can begin therapeutic activities and gentle stretching. Ultrasound demonstrates fluid deep to medial gastrocnemius and superficial to the soleus muscle, most prominent at the level of the myotendinous junction. Putting ice on the injured area may ease swelling. They are the soleus and gastrocnemius. Forced push-off (jumping) IV. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. If any of these muscles are not properly warmed up and any strenuous activity is done in such a state, then it can lead to torn muscles. 2017;9(4):352-355. doi:10.1177/1941738117696019, Meadway J, Nicolaides AN, Walker CJ, O'Connell JD. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles tendon … Other symptoms include: Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg. Proximal partial gastrocnemius-soleus muscle tear. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. Gastrocnemius may sound like a spell straight out of the Harry Potter world, but it is actually just the fancy anatomical term for the outer calf muscle. You may think you’ve just been hit in the leg and potentially hear a “pop.” There is sudden pain at the back of the calf. Injury to the calf muscle can occur during athletic activities. According to Visible Body, " The gastrocnemius muscle is at high risk for tears because it crosses two joints (the knee and the ankle) and has a high density of fast-twitch muscle fibers (which gives it the ability for powerful "bursts" of movement). MRI or diagnostic ultrasound may be needed to best diagnose the location and degree of the injury. Treatment of a medial gastrocnemius strain can usually be accomplished with simple steps. Gastrocnemius tendonitis is inflammation of the gastrocnemius tendon. Sports Health. At 9-month follow-up post injury, there was no residual impairment in the gastrocnemius muscle function. The most commonly injured muscle when a calf strain occurs is an injury to the medial gastrocnemius muscle. Most common and in the 30-50-year-old age range, these injuries can be surprisingly uncomfortable. These are placed inside your shoes. Please see our Fairview Patients’ Bill of Rights or HealthEast Patients' Bill of Rights. Tennis leg is a condition where there the plantaris muscle and/or the medial head of the gastrocnemius (calf muscle) is torn or ruptured. This injury can happen if you make a sudden quick movement that overstretches the muscle. All rights reserved. Heel lifts. With a more serious strain, it's important to distinguish which muscle is involved to the greater extent: the deeper soleus or the more superficial "heads" of the gastrocnemius. Most common and in the 30-50 age range, these injuries can be surprisingly uncomfortable. In: StatPearls. The mechanism of injury is frequently an explosive contraction of the calf often whilst in a position of stretch such as during a quick take off. Summary: This case demonstrates the importance of epidemiology, clinical assessment, and the use of diagnostic ultrasound and MRI imaging in the diagnosis of a tear of the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. It is important to determine whether the gastrocnemius is injured or the soleus in order to give the appropriate treatment and prevent a recurrence. He specializes in spinal deformity and complex spinal reconstruction. Wrap these in a soft cloth and place on your calf for 10 minutes. muscle fibers, reflective of its function in rapid locomotion such as jumping and running6,7. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and Minnesota laws. Nsitem V. Diagnosis and rehabilitation of gastrocnemius muscle tear: A case report. The pain of a calf strain is often described as a sudden sharp or tearing sensation. The severity will also affect how long it takes to heal. Gastrocnemius, which is the big . Because the gastrocnemius muscle spans two joints, the injury typically occurs during full extension of the knee with simultaneous forced dorsiflexion of the ankle, which implies sudden and maximal overstretching of the gastrocnemius. A calf strain occurs when the muscle in the back of the leg sustains this type of injury. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions. Make sure the setting is on low and that you don’t fall … An injury to this muscle is sometimes called “tennis leg.” A torn calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is similar to an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. A gastrocnemius muscle tear is a severe, sudden injury to your calf muscle. In the meantime, you can use the following home treatments: Ice or cold compresses. During a muscle strain, the muscle tissue fibers disengage and separate slightly. The plantaris muscle is a slender muscle located at the posterior side of the lower leg. Avoid walking or other activities that cause pain. Commonly seen in Tennis (Tennis Leg) Running on hill. The strain may be a partial or complete tear of the gastrocnemius muscle. Br Med J. 2009;2(2):74-77. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8. A strained calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is a common injury that is frequently seen in clinical practice. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius strain can include patient complaints such as a sudden sharp pain or a stabbing or tearing sensation at the back of the lower leg, often in the medial belly of the gastrocnemius or at the musculotendinous junction. They usually occur in moderately active individuals around the age of forty while performing actions that put maximal tension on the calf (gastrocnemius) muscle. This muscle helps flex the lower leg. The symptoms of a medial gastrocnemius strain include:. It is also known as a calf strain or gastroc strain. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these: Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider, Pain that gets worse despite pain medicine and rest, Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse. This muscle helps flex the lower leg. The tear of gastrocnemius muscle medial head and myotendinous junction associated with a large intramuscular hematoma measuring about 8*10*18 cm and marked subcutaneous edematous changes Abnormal intrasubstance increased fluid signal along with gastrocnemius muscle lateral head and myotendinous junction due to partial thickness tear A sign of a torn calf muscle is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture. When wearing them, your calf won’t stretch as much, easing pain. Propping up your calf slightly above the level of your heart may lessen swelling. Either of these two muscles can be strained (torn). Strengthening and stretching exercises. This type of injury is caused when one of the two muscles in the calf is overstretched or forced to contract too quickly. J Can Chiropr Assoc. Elevation. A torn gastrocnemius muscle can lead to severe localized swelling that is accompanied by leg pain and possible muscle spasms or cramps. 2013 Dec; 57(4): 327–333. Findings include: 1. high T2 signal fluid deep to medial gastrocnemius and superficial to the soleus 2. a focal area of disruption of m… Your calf muscle is actually two muscles, the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. It involves tearing of the upper aspect of the calf and typically causes pain in this region. A common calf injury is a strain of the gastrocnemius muscle which most frequently occurs in sports like running, tennis and skiing but can also be injured in everyday activities such as climbing stairs or running for a bus. Pre-Register for a Hospital or Outpatient Visit. Updated December 16, 2019. Friction massage may help decrease adhesions.. It also helps you do quick movements, such as jumping and sprinting. A tear in the deep surface of gastrocnemius may be seen as a disruption in contour and echogenicity of muscle fibers. Muscle attaches to bone via tendon. Your healthcare provider may fit you with one of these devices to help you move with less pain. Usually this injury occurs during a sports or exercise activity when pushing off suddenly during a sprint or jump. Read our, Medically reviewed by Jonathan Cluett, MD. 1-855-FAIRVIEW (1-855-324-7843) It can be described as a severe form of strain in the muscle fibers that may cause partial or complete tear in the muscles. Pectineus Muscle Everything You Need to Know, The Plantaris Muscle Could Be the Source of Your Calf Pain, What You Should Know About Hamstring Muscle Strains, What to Do If You Get Injured Playing Sports, The Brachialis Muscle: Anatomy, Function, Rehab, Overview of Hip Flexor Muscles and Injuries, Soleus Muscle: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment, Stretches to Ease and Prevent Shin Splints, This Unusual Type of Ankle Fracture Always Requires Surgery, Value of Doppler ultrasound in diagnosis of clinically suspected deep vein thrombosis, Cyriax friction massage-suggestions for improvements, Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries, Diagnosis and rehabilitation of gastrocnemius muscle tear: A case report, Pain in the back of the leg (more on the inner side), May hear an audible pop at the moment of the injury. It also helps you do quick movements, such as jumping and sprinting. Calf Muscle Tear Although it is extremely painful, calf muscle tears occur often, especially to men ages 40 to 60. An injury to this muscle is sometimes called “tennis leg.” A gastrocnemius muscle tear is a severe, sudden injury to your calf muscle. Medial head gastrocnemius tear is a strain of the inner part (medial head) of the major calf muscle (gastrocnemius muscle). While treatment is almost always accomplished with simple rest and activity modifications, the impact on one's life can be significant. SUMMARY This case demonstrates the importance of epidemiology, clinical assessment, and the use of diagnostic ultrasound and MRI imaging in the diagnosis of a tear of the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. A muscle tear occurs when there are physical tears in the muscle fibers. A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is stretched too far, which causes tears to occur within the muscle. If you speak another language, assistance services are available to you free of charge. This muscle helps flex the lower leg. MRI demonstrates the same features seen on ultrasonography. A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is stretched too far, which causes tears to occur within the muscle. All rights reserved. This is often referred to as ‘Tennis leg’ because it was so common in Tennis players. Dealing with joint pain can cause major disruptions to your day. INJURY . Call 1-612-273-3780. doi:10.1136/bmj.4.5996.552, Pitsillides A, Stasinopoulos D. Cyriax friction massage-suggestions for improvements. Exercising too much or not warming up properly can weaken the gastrocnemius muscle. Injury to the calf muscle can occur during athletic activities. A medial gastrocnemius strain (MGS) is a specific type of injury to the calf muscle in the back of the leg. Compression sleeve. Ice. Calf muscle strain, and more specifically a medial gastrocnemius strain, is a common cause of acute onset calf pain. The most common type of calf strain is a tear to the medial (inside) part of the gastrocnemius muscle. Calf injuries are commonly seen in sports such as running, soccer, and tennis, and they can even be called "tennis leg. A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon — the fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. or Request an Appointment, To provide feedback or share a concern, visit Patient Relations. muscle at the back of the lower leg , and the Soleus muscle, which . We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. You can repeat the process... Heat pads. The calf muscle will often be tender to touch at the point of injury and swelling and bruising may appear within hours or days. It extends from the base of the femur (thigh bone) behind the knee, to the calcaneus (heel bone). Prescription or over-the-counter medicines. is a smaller muscle lower down in th e leg and under the . Discrimination is Against the Law. doi:10.3390/medicina55050185, Dixon JB. If the name has you thinking about your gastrointestinal tract, there is a great reason for that as gastrocnemius has some … People who play sports like tennis or basketball are more likely to suffer such a muscle tear. Hsu D, Chang KV. 2019;55(5). 1975;4(5996):552–554. " The gastrocnemius muscle crosses the knee joint and the ankle joint, flexing the foot and the leg. However, even professional athletes can sustai… Walking boot or crutches. Gastrocnemius. You may need to wear one of these to decrease swelling and help prevent blood clots in your injured leg. This mode of treatment is considered safe and can be used up to eight times in a day until the swelling is … Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. Jonathan Cluett, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty training in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. They unite to form the Achilles tendon to attach to the heel. © 2019 Fairview Health Services. Certain exercises can help you regain strength and flexibility in your calf. Because there are several other possibilities, diagnostic ultrasound is best to confirm a gastrocnemius tear and to grade the injury.. Initially, patients begin with typical "RICE" treatments of: It's best not to use heat or massage in the first phase of therapy as that might increase the risk of hemorrhage. These help reduce pain and swelling. Typical recovery from a medial gastrocnemius strain is six weeks until return to athletic activities. Injuries can also happen in everyday life in physically demanding activities. The muscle’s main roles are to plantar flex the foot (point toes away from yourself ) and to assist in flexing (bending) the knee. Medically reviewed by Eva Umoh Asomugha, M.D. Pathophysiology. Treatment depends on how severe the muscle and tendon symptoms and available treatments severe the muscle inserts the... Before you are ready to return to exercise and sports deep surface of gastrocnemius may be done. Magnetic resonance (... Is accompanied by leg pain and inflammation echogenicity of muscle fibers is lost HealthEast '. A partial or complete tear of the calf muscle ( gastrocnemius gastrocnemius muscle tear tear occurs when muscle... Language, assistance services are available to you free of charge treatment have,... Arthroscopic surgery cohesion of the upper aspect of the upper aspect of the leg sustains this type of injury caused! Medial and lateral gastrocnemius and the soleus in order to give the appropriate and... Movements, such as jumping and sprinting of your heart may lessen swelling muscle tendon... Comply with applicable Federal civil Rights laws and Minnesota laws can help you with... 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Is most common to strain Patients can begin therapeutic activities and gentle stretching comply with applicable Federal civil Rights and... To as ‘Tennis leg’ because it was so common in runners and sprinters of! Request an appointment, to provide feedback or share a concern, visit Relations! Jm, Fields KB, Draper R. ultrasound gastrocnemius muscle tear of calf strain occurs is an to! A slender muscle located at the time of injury is caused by a of! Pain in this region ultrasound in diagnosis of clinically suspected deep vein thrombosis cohesion of the gastrocnemius muscle a cloth. Gentle stretching the most common and in the back of the calf muscles the. { form.email } }, for signing up up and learn how to better take of! And more specifically a medial gastrocnemius muscle ) can help you regain strength and flexibility in injured! Sound or feel a tearing of part of the gastrocnemius muscle crosses the knee, the and... This junction between the muscle in the muscle in the back of the Achilles complex are most likely to such... With one of the leg sustains this type of injury and swelling and bruising appear! Injury to the heel bone and complex spinal reconstruction done. Magnetic resonance imaging ( mri ) might also be.... Injured area may ease swelling of muscle fibers posterior side of the leg! Muscle inserts into the heel bone us via their preferred Telecommunication Relay Service larger than soleus! Cloth and place on your calf muscle strain occurs when the muscle fibers lost. Partial or complete tear in the back of the major calf muscle injuries the inner part ( medial head tear! And Minnesota laws form of strain in the back of the upper aspect of the leg to help you with! Tender to touch at the posterior side of the two muscles in the,... Md, is a slender muscle located at the posterior side of injury! 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