i strained my calf muscle one week ago playing basketball. I just pivoted and heard a popping sound in my ear, and couldn't stand when I tried to put my foot down- stabbing pain in the middle of my calf. There wasn't even anyone near me. I've never had any injury to any part of either leg before, so this is new to me and I'm trying to figure out the recovery.
I iced it immediately and another mom brought me a pair of crutches. I kept it elevated and iced at home. So Monday I went to my doctor and he confirmed what I had figured from the internet- medial gastroc tear. At that point it felt a lot better- I'd say 50% improvement- I could put weight on the ball of my foot and flex it slightly so that with crutches and heels i could put some weight on it. I was told that it would turn green and purple, which it has done down both the back of the calf and along the shin bone down to the heel. I was not told that the pain would increase, or that it would swell more.
I did get to the point on Wednesday and Thursday where I felt that I could walk a bit with heels (I can't wear sneakers yet) and a bit of a limp, to work. My job is mostly sitting, it was just getting there and around the building. At work my foot started to feel cold and my calf and lower leg from the knee down hurt a lot, but once I got up it started to get warm and then swollen around the ankle.
Did my walking/sitting reinjure/aggravate the strain? I periodically feel sharp twinges when I step wrong, and when i try to stretch it a bit as my doctor suggested it hurts like he11 for a while afterward (this isn't a huge stretch- just trying to flex my foot a bit periodically). How long will it take to recover to walking? Why is it worse at night? It seems to get a bit better if I try to hobble for a bit, but then it's hard to stand if I've been off it for a while.
I usually immobilize gastroc tears in an ankle walker for the firt week or two, just let the tissues "calm down" and begin the healing process. In addition, I find that starting physical therapy, or even stretching, two early can do more harm than good. Early on, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can accelerate healing process. Depending on the severity of the injury, this can take up to 12 weeks to heal. Proper treatment is essential for full recovery, and prevent recurrent injury.
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