Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Strained Calf Muscle Overview

Another name for Strained Calf Muscle is Calf Strain.

What is a calf strain?
A person with a calf strain has stretching or tearing of the calf muscle, called the gastrocnemius. A calf strain is usually caused by an injury. Most calf strains are partial tears of the gastrocnemius. Severe calf injuries may cause a complete tear through the gastrocnemius, called a muscle rupture. Injuries to the calf may also result in Achilles tendon rupture.

What are the symptoms of a calf strain?
Symptoms of a calf strain include calf pain that worsens with movement of the knee or ankle. Other symptoms include calf swelling (unilateral), calf bruising, calf tenderness, leg stiffness, and difficulty walking.

How does the doctor treat a calf strain?
Treatment for a calf strain includes rest, elevation, cold compresses, and crutches. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed for pain. Later options include massage therapy and physical therapy.

Continue to Strained Calf Muscle Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Strained Calf Muscle References
  1. Anderson SJ. Lower extremity injuries in youth sports. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2002 Jun;49(3):627-41. [12119868]
  2. Beiner JM, Jokl P. Muscle contusion injury and myositis ossificans traumatica. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2002 Oct;(403 Suppl):S110-9. [12394459]
  3. Kirkendall DT, Garrett WE Jr. Clinical perspectives regarding eccentric muscle injury. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2002 Oct;(403 Suppl):S81-9. [12394456]
  4. Russell GV Jr, Pearsall AW 4th, Caylor MT, Nimityongskul P. Acute compartment syndrome after rupture of the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. South Med J. 2000 Feb;93(2):247-9. [10701802]
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