Ruptured Plantaris Tendon


New User
I've seen that this topic gets discussed every couple of years but I thought I'd add my take on it cause this injury just happened to me.

I am 50 and use to be a tournament player when I was younger and I'm not injury prone on my legs especialy with just playing social tennis now. On a cold morning a few weeks ago while rushing forward to get a drop shop something hit me like an immediate leg cramp and i made a soft fall on the ground. I even heard a sound that wasn't a pop, but more like a paper tearing. I couldn't play anymore and in retrospect I misdiagnosed it as a cramp and incorrectly tried to start stretching it. As the day went on and it didn't get any better I knew it was something worse and I probably did more harm than good trying to stretch it.

Went to the doctor on Monday two days later and he quickly diagnosed it as a ruptured Plantaris tendon. He didn't even prescribe any medicine for me. Just told me to ice it for a while and take some ibuprofen or motrin to reduce the swelling of the surrounding area. then after a few days start using heat to help it mend. This small muscle and very long tendon is not even of any use to the human body anymore except that it becomes brittle with age and thus is prone to tearing in "older" athletes. So, the tear will never heal back together and when it has shriveled up, I will never miss it. At least, that is what I read.

As time went on, I found the doctor's diagnosis to be the correct and by 5 days I was walking with just a slight limp. Thus, as I was able to move more freely it was somewhat of a relief that my soleus and gastrocnemius muscles were not directly affected. I played 7 days later some casual tennis but could not run hard. In another week later, I was 95% back to normal. On the 3rd week, I didn't even think about it anymore.

This calf area injury can happen to all over 40 athletes. When it does happen to you or someone around you, quickly diagnose it. If it couldn't possibly be a cramp and you can rule out something serious like a soleus or achilles tendon injury, (can you walk at all or try to stand tippy toe) it might be the plantaris muscle and tendon and the best treatment should have been to immediately ice it.

I am not a doctor, I just wanted to share my experience cause I didn't even know a plantaris muscle and tendon existed until this happened. When mentioning it most think I'm talking about plantaris fasciiitis which is totally different.

Useful info.

I've had plantar fascitis, stretch ankle ligaments, achilles tendonitis All took/ is taking a long time to heal.

At least when I get this one :) I know that I won't take too long to heal. So, this tendon is not used for anything?
the plantaris muscle is very small and is not really needed in the calf area. the tendon is long and thin and thus has a highger chance or breaking although most force is transmitted through gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. if you rupture it there is not much that can be done. once the pain and swelling are gone you won't miss it though which is good.

plantar fascitis and strained ankle ligaments are very different though and take longer to recover from - sometimes up to 3 months or longer if severe. plantar fascitis is under the foot and can produce a buring type pain - very intense when standing up (especially first thing in hte morning) or walking too long. rest, stretches and get it looked at if it is not going away by itself