Bad Muscle Tear

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by jchamilt, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. jchamilt

    jchamilt Rookie

    Jul 16, 2007
    On August 10 in the State USTA 4.5 Senior finals. I served and came to the net and when I stopped I heard a snap in my left calf at which point I could not walk. I left in a wheel chair and went to the ER and got a tentative diagnosis of a ruptured Achilles tendon, which I didn't think was correct since my tendon felt whole in the common place for a rupture and all the pain was in my calf. I left the ER on crutches and got an appointment the next day at a sport's medicine clinic. They were not sure whether it was a rupture of the Achilles or a bad muscle tear. The ultrasound found a bad tear of the medial head of my gastrocnemeus (calf muscle). This type of injury is written up as "Tennis Leg" and I have a bad case of it. The prognosis was maybe 6 to 8 weeks before I went back to tennis.

    I have been playing tennis for 58 years and competitive tennis for 50 years. This is the worse injury by far I have ever had yet I have been ranked in every section I played and currently hold a national ranking.

    I am doing PT 3 X a week and there is still edema in my lower leg, but I have progressed from a wheel chair, crutches, soft cast and now I can almost walk without a limp.

    Any thoughts on how to reduce the edema still present nearly 3 weeks after the injury. I see the doctor again next week.
  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo G.O.A.T.

    Aug 30, 2005
    Keep icing it, that's really the only way. The****utic massage can help too.

    If you've got the money and you can find a place that sell them, use some Kinesio Tape. Apparently, they lift the skin up to improve lymph drainage. If they're right, it'll really help with healing by flushing out pro-inflammatory proteins.

    As long as there is inflammation, it wont heal. By the way, if you found a place that sells Kinesio Tape for a decent price, let me know!
  3. ElectricTennis

    ElectricTennis New User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Ouch I hope you feel better! That really sucks. My worst injury was when I tore the muscles in my knee. Now I suck at running, and I can't punt or kick in football any more.
  4. princemidplus

    princemidplus Rookie

    Aug 11, 2008
    unfortuantely swelling can last a long time in the leg after injury - up to 2 or 3 months at times and longer after operations. this is because you tend to always have your leg down thus having gravity opposing the return of fluids in your leg to your body. to help reduce swelling elevate your leg - preferably above chest level but at least up onto a stool or leg rest when sitting down.

    typically it will be better/less swollen in the mornings and worsen as the day progresses. due to having foot elevated all night while sleeping and then having it down all day while sitting and walking/standing.
  5. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

    Feb 25, 2004
    Jchamilt-sorry to hear about your injury. I am surprised that with a physical exam they couldn't determine your injury was either an achilles rupture or calf muscle tear-pretty straight forward I would think. Also, for a definitive diagnoses I would think they would do a MRI and not ultrasound. Good luck with your rehab-be glad it is not an achilles rupture requiring surgery and 1 year rehab!

    By the way, do you regularly stretch your calf and achilles everyday, and did you stretch it that day before you played. What do you think caused the tear? Could you have prevented this by doing more pre and post match stretching. Usually an injury like this is cumulative from alot of playing and not stretching enough. Of course you could have just had bad luck! Let us know if you have determined why this may have happened.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  6. jchamilt

    jchamilt Rookie

    Jul 16, 2007
    It was cold and rainy that August day. At these USTA leagues they do not give you 5-10 minutes or hardly any time to warm up. Since it was cold and raining there was no place to warm up outside and the state playoffs were inside.
  7. ThePro101

    ThePro101 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2007
    I have done the same thing - I feel for you.

    My doctor recommended that I wear a compression sleeve on my calf when playing; it seems to keep my calf tighter and warmer.

    Good luck!
  8. Molk

    Molk New User

    Feb 11, 2010
    I would try ARP wave therapy. You can check it out on by typing in arp wave. I think it one of the best modes of healing soft tissue. Phil Archer 952 808-0987 of Arp wave was a great help for me. They will send a machine to your home. Best of luck for a quick recovery.
  9. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Nov 24, 2004
    New Jersey
    Why do you want to reduce the edema?? You are three weeks post-injury and shouldn't play for at least six to eight weeks. The edema is a harmless sign of the injury and shouldn't concern you. Edema that goes on for months or years is something to be concerned about.
  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    To decrease the edema wear a compression stocking. You can get one in a pharmacy.
  11. Uvijek Argen

    Uvijek Argen Semi-Pro

    Dec 21, 2009
    OP- Hope you get well soon.

    And to share with you and the rest of the posters, I did have a sprain/strain in multiple muscles from the hip, vastus lateralis muscle, max and min. gluteus..etc etc..just a mess.

    In my case there were no pulling, 2 days after my gluteus start to bother, and by the 3rd day I couldn't walk, I was completely paralyze from the left side.(That was the Sunday before this last US Open started).

    I will said in my case was a mix of excessive playing, and by the last day I ran out of liquids(water,electrolyte + chocolate milk) half and hour before practice with a friend.

    I be out until the beginning of November if I'm lucky

    Pic of how it looks now...

  12. GZim

    GZim Rookie

    Dec 5, 2009
    I too tore my gastroc, sprinting for a drop shot (and it was the second time). It happened an hour into a 2 hour clinic, so i was plenty warmed up. I did rehab, some strength training, and now I still stretch it out before I play, and I try to stretch it a little more after warm up. I am always scared it will happen again.
    When it happened, I thought someone smashed a ball into me from behind, I heard the pop and felt the searing burn. I was in a boot for about 5 weeks.
    I feel for ya.

  13. mike53

    mike53 Professional

    Jul 11, 2008

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