Patient Experience – Calf Tear

Patient Spotlight – Marianna Gale

What was your injury and how did it happen?

I was playing tennis and felt the sensation and sound of the popping/ tearing of my calf.  I later discovered that I had a 9mm gastrocnemius tear (calf tear).

What was the management early on and what did you find helpful?

Initially I laid down with ice on my calf and raised my leg.  I was lucky enough to have a physiotherapy appointment at Total Physiotherapy within an hour of the tear. The physio investigated the location of the tear and the extent of the damage.  She applied ultrasound to the calf and applied tape for support as well as a Tubigrip stocking to provide compression. I was provided with crutches to help me get around.

How did you prepare your body for return to tennis?

I returned to Total Physio after a few days for a light massage and to start to bring in some light exercises to re-strengthen the area.  I returned weekly for 5 weeks to undergo, massage, ultrasound and acupuncture to relieve the pressure and build up of blood which was collecting in my ankle and foot from the tear and to speed up  recovery.  I was asked to elevate and rest the leg in the initial period. Through calf raising strengthening exercises I eventually   regained the mobility and strength needed to return to the game.

Anything you would have done differently in the recovery process?

Rested more. Something I am not good at! And of course listen to my physio as she really does know best.

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