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glt
Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 10:40AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A week ago while in a hurry, I twisted my leg the wrong way and felt (heard?) a snap on the inside side of my calf muscle. The ER doc diagnosed it as a muscle tear, and prescribed some Vicadin & gave me some crutches. I am no longer using Vicadin, but the calf is still very sore and swollen, & I cannot fully extend my leg without a lot of pain. I have an appointment with my PCP tomorrow for a confirmation of the diagnosis.

Has anybody here had a similar incident? How long before you were able to walk/run again?
sugery
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 11:16AM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If its a bad tear then you will probably need surgery. It all depends on what the doctor says. You dont want to try coming back to early from a muscle tear.
One Keg
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 11:32AM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I feel for ya man. I've been in the same boat for three weeks, four days, two hours, 21 minutes, etc. I've tried some light jogging in the treadmill and sometimes it's OK and sometimes it locks. Go for ice, dorsi- and plantar flexion, and use the foam rollers to help perform some of the myofascia release when your calf is a little less sore than it is now. Basically I wouldn't run on it if it is still painful to a deep touch, like a massage.

I have had to make do with the stationary bike and indoor rowing machine. Cranking up the heartrate is cranking up the heartrate at this point. I've been hammering on those so hard, I've dropped about five pounds but gawd is it boring. Beats the hell out of doing nothing though. It seems to be getting better slowly, but this feels like it could be a 2-3 month recovery process.

Rule of thumb I have heard, when it finally feels good that's still too soon for a calf. Give it another week before you can actually run on it. I tried the light jogging too soon and it didn't help aything. I'm shutting it down for a bit, I don't care to have this injury going on and off for the next year.

Good luck.
Ripped Calf
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 12:02PM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have a history of torn calf muscles, last year I tore mine twice in the span of three months.

I tore it in September, took a month off, ran for a month and retore it. Took another 6 weeks off and have been OK since then.

For a medium to severe tear, the rule of thumb is 6 to 8 weeks off, I of course couldn't wait that long and tore it again as a result.

If its a legit tear and not just a little tweak, I think your looking at at least 1 month, and that is pushing it.

Sorry.
davies
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 12:09PM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Tore mine about two months ago, just ripped outa the blue running downhill moderately fast on a long run. Nasty, nasty, squelch-sounding tear - I could literally feel it tear and had to limp, walk home two miles. Took a week completely off, ice, ibuprofen etc. and starting every other day 20 minute jogs. Two weeks later, while coaching, ran a 90 second lap on the track and pop it went again.

More weeks off (basically four) and eased back into it very very gradually. After eight weeks I raced XC at 90% effort (90% of not very much as you can imagine), went fine and two weeks later (last Saturday) raced XC again just fine.

Although I am 40 I was shocked how long this took to heal.

AD
Ripped Calf
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 12:16PM - in reply to davies Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I think most people dont realize the severity of this injury. I did some reading on it and it was compared to tearing your achilles tendon! Of course, it's not nearly as catastrophic but you get the picture.

A lot of people refer to it as "just a strain" which is a misnomer, a muscle tear is a serious thing and you have to rest it and let it heal. My tear was very similar to yours, except I was going uphill and all of a sudden it started hurting like a bastard out of the blue, I had to walk it in for about a mile, it was brutal.
glt
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/12/2005 1:30PM - in reply to Ripped Calf Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks alot for all of the replies; I expected as much.

To tell you the truth, after a week of elevating my leg and hopping aboout I will be grateful to just start walking again. After that I'll give it the 6-8 weeks that are recommended, depending on how it feels at that time.

Much obliged.
theboy
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 8/3/2007 4:30PM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
quick question guys, i was playing a soccer match about 2 and a half months ago,i jumped up in the air, landed on my left leg, next thing i know my knee has given out.

i tore my lateral ligament. in the process i seemed to have tore the top of my calf muscle.

i have since healed my ligament but im still having problems with my calf.

if i go to kneel down i get a sharpe pain across the top of my calf as if its in the back of my knee.

have i tore my calf muscle?? if so any recommendations?

thanks.
David
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/17/2007 6:25PM - in reply to sugery Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I just tore my calf muscle on Thursday! It was very painful. I did not go to the doctor because the very reason that all they do is give you pain medication and tell you not to use it. Instead of going to the doctor I went to my acupuncturist the next day and was able to walk without pain. He told me not to use crutches because you don't want it to stiffen up (more time to heal). So I have been doing heel toe since I left, making sure to work the calf gently. I went today and I feel even better. Most injuries are a state of mind when it comes to recovery. Most Doctors have no Idea the limits we have for ourselves. Only you know when it is right to go back to exercising.
slave of required education
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/17/2007 7:36PM - in reply to David Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
dude, if you have a torn muscle, pcp is not what you should be taking.
DUELIST
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 12:12AM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I tore my calf last August springing off a diving board. I couldnt' run a step for 2 months, and didn't really run for 6. Be absolutely sure to ice and take it VERY EASY putting pressure back on the muscle. Good luck to you!!! If you're really young that will speed up your recovery.
rippy cripple
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 12:50AM - in reply to DUELIST Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
8 weeks minimum. Trying to come back sooner will just cause reinjury and more time off.

NEVER, EVER, EVER TAKE VICODIN FOR SOMETHING AS INCONSEQUENTIAL AS A MUSCLE TEAR!!!.

There are any number of non addicting pain killers and muscle relaxants that can be substituted for.
DUELIST
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 1:54AM - in reply to rippy cripple Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

rippy cripple wrote:

8 weeks minimum. Trying to come back sooner will just cause reinjury and more time off.

NEVER, EVER, EVER TAKE VICODIN FOR SOMETHING AS INCONSEQUENTIAL AS A MUSCLE TEAR!!!.

There are any number of non addicting pain killers and muscle relaxants that can be substituted for.


ummm, a calf tear isn't inconsequential--tear, not strain mind you-- but i agree with you about vicodin...very addictive, and very dangerous. stay away and, like you said, find another painkiller...

8 weeks minimum sounds right. absolutely no pushing off for at least 2 weeks, otherwise say hello to surgery!
CrossFan
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 6:14AM - in reply to DUELIST Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Had the same thing happen, the same "pop" in fact. Happened during a leg of the Great Lakes Relay (Michigan) on a leg where I ran up a sand dune pretty much all-out on the second of 2 consecutive legs. OUCH! Very painful.

I babied it and limped around for several weeks and tried unsuccessfully to run on it and used icing, etc... It just was taking FOREVER to get better. Until I tried a serious sports massage guy. The biggest problem with it taking so long to heal is that it is swollen and all bound/knotted up and it is very difficult for blood to flow to the area to heal it. One of the fastest (if not the fastest) way to clear all that crud out and to get blood to flow to it and heal it is massage. I was amazed that within 3 days after the massage, I was able to run nearly pain free. I was kicking myself that I waited that long (though I'm sure the 3 weeks of taking it easy on it helped as well).

So I suggest visiting a massage guy, one that is highly recommended by other athletes, and one who is not shy of grinding in there and putting you through a bit of pain. And trust me, it's painful. =8-0 But th emore you can endure, the quicker they can get it healing.

Good luck.
whitey
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 9:55AM - in reply to CrossFan Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well, i had 3 weeks completely off, and then 3 weeks of every other day, starting out with a 9 minute run on grass and adding a few minutes here and there.

It took about 5 weeks for me to run 7 minute pace comfortably.
Mine was diagnosed as a pull/strain, but it was painful as hell, and I couldn't walk without a limp for over a week. I couldn't imagine coming back in less than 6 weeks with something worse than what I had.

When your calf can handle it, get on the elliptical and do some workouts (tempos, 4x6 minute, 15x1 minute, with minimal rest). I was able to really get my heart rate up for a prolonged time, and some of the nicer ellipticals really seem to work the running muscles well.

Until then, get in the pool and swim if it doesn't irritate it.


After only 4 weeks of running more than 38, I just set a 8k xc PR, and I really think that if I would have sat on my ass the entire time, I wouldn't be even close to that.
randy flagg
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 10:06AM - in reply to CrossFan Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had this problem a year and a half ago, except there was no "pop" really. I was doing a 70 min. run on 2/17/06, and my right calf had been tight the last few days. Running downhill it suddenly hurt VERY badly, and I had to limp/run the last couple miles. Any time I tried to run, after a few running strides it would feel like a horrible calf cramp you wake up with in them iddle of the night.

2 months later I started running easy and could not run hills at all. I iced after EVERY run, but if I did much uphill running, it would start to feel iffy again and I'd have to take 3-4 days off. This happened once in May and once in June. Then, as luck would have it, I went overseas for 2 weeks and run nothing the whole time. Came back, eased into things, and by early August I was running hills with no ill effects. Kept icing religiously though. Had a great cross season after all.

Moral of the story: Rest these buggers! It took 2 months plus a couple backdowns plus 2 weeks of no activity. It's bad news, but nothing you can't rebound from. Good luck to all!
glt
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/18/2007 12:23PM - in reply to DUELIST Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
This is a followup on my injury, which happened about two years ago.

I spent about 2 - 3 days on the Vicodin, just long enough for the pain's razor edge to wear off. I was in a walking boot for about 4 - 5 weeks; during this time, I recieved physical therapy twice a week, which involved stretching, massage, and ultrasonic treatment to the injured area to break up the scar tissue. I started running again that December, nothing fast, but enough to be gratifying. Other than the calf feeling slightly tighter than the other during stretching, I am completely over it. I award full credit for my full, setback-free recovery on the physical therapy.
DUELIST
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/20/2007 1:10AM - in reply to glt Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Good to hear that you made a full recovery. Me too, after physical therapy as well, and active rest.

Now I've had arthoscropic for a torn meniscus in June '07 after a meniscus tear. 3 months later, I'm running again. Isn't the body's ability to recover an amazing thing?!
same problem
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 9/20/2007 2:11AM - in reply to DUELIST Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Four months for me, but one of the very few times I ever followed doctors'/therapists' orders. Also the only injury I ever had that healed completely and never was heard from again. I was biking within 2 weeks, so all wasn't lost.
squash pro
RE: Tore a muscle in my calf; how long to heal? 11/7/2007 11:22AM - in reply to same problem Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Tore mine about 14 years ago. Physical therapist used massage the next day, which was the most pain I have ever experienced. (I've broken a few small bones). I kept asking if this was proper treatment or just sadistic torture. It healed completely, with more therapy, in about 4 weeks and never a problem again until---
last night I tore something else in a different place (the calf comprises the soleus and the gastrocnemius). I'll post if the ortho. or therapist recommends the same torture.
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