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Calf Muscle Injuries

Calf muscle injuries are painful and often referred to as "tennis leg", caused by repetitive weight-bearing push-off and direction change.
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Calf muscle injuries are common and can be painful and disabling. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising, with swelling and bruising sometimes appearing 48 hours after injury. An examination is necessary to confirm that the Achilles tendon is not injured as this injury requires more urgent attention. Treatment for a gastrocnemius tear is typically conservative and involves targeting pain, swelling, and bleeding, followed by early aggressive physical rehabilitation.


The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles are typically referred to as the calf muscles. These muscles are primarily responsible for allowing you to stand on your toes and push off while walking and jumping. Injury to the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle is commonly referred to as “tennis leg” due to its high incidence in tennis players. This injury is not exclusive to tennis players but highlights an underlying mechanism of injury due to repetitive weight-bearing push off and direction change.

Sometimes the athlete reports an audible pop or feels they were kicked in the back of the leg. Swelling and bruising may present 48 hours after injury. The distal most aspect of the gastrocnemius muscle transitions to the Achilles tendon. An examination is required to confirm that the Achilles tendon in not injured as this injury needs more urgent attention.

For a gastrocnemius tear, treatment is initiated by targeting pain, swelling, and bleeding. Most injuries are managed conservatively with early aggressive physical rehabilitation.

We offer specialized care for calf muscle injuries and provide expert diagnosis, treatment, and education to help patients recover as quickly and safely as possible. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with a specialist.

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Patients deserve personalized, outcome-driven care provided by physicians who genuinely care about them. As medicine has become more corporate and transactional, OrthoNJ prioritizes exceptional doctor/patient relationships. This is why we say we have The Power to Put Patients First.

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