Medial Gastrocnemius Strain Follow-up

Updated: Mar 30, 2018
  • Author: Anthony J Saglimbeni, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

When an athlete will be able to return to play is predicated on the patient being pain free and recovering full ROM. This period can last 1-12 weeks, depending on the degree of tissue damage that was sustained. Strength testing should reveal that more than 90% of the uninjured side accounts for the patient's dominance preference.

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Complications

The most common complication of a medial calf injury is scar-tissue formation, which results in chronic pain or dysfunction that is caused by a functional shortening of the muscle-tendon unit. This scar tissue can then predispose to frequent reinjury. Another complication is the formation of a DVT as a result of patient inactivity and trauma.

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Prevention

A medial calf injury may not be preventable, but regular physical activity with maintenance of flexibility in the gastrocnemius muscle may help to reduce one's chances of sustaining such an injury.

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Prognosis

If the above treatments are followed (see Treatment, Acute Phase, Recovery Phase, and Maintenance Phase), the prognosis for recovery and return to sports after a medial calf injury is excellent.

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Education

Instructions for appropriate stretching and warm-up techniques should be provided to the patient for the implementation of maximal prevention of reinjury.

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