Calf Strains

This episode of Ask The Surgeon will cover Calf Strains starting with Félix Hernández, baseball pitcher with the Seattle Mariners, who recently suffered a strained calf muscle on his push-off leg. Doctor Mason, and show hosts Shannon O'Kelly and Maurey analyze how the injury occurred in the miraculous mechanics that creates the torque needed in throwing a major league pitch.

The calf muscle is amazing piece of soft tissue that whether you walking, standing, stop, push, pull its there getting used. With the calf muscle we are talking about two muscles the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is the larger muscle that lays over the smaller soleus muscle and they merge together at the base of the calf muscle. These muscles are powerful and fatigue resistant and when the calf muscle gets injured they will heal slowly. If you do not give the calf time to heal properly there's a good chance it'll be a reoccurring injury.

For weekend warriors with a calf strain, they may think they are doing better and able to walk down the street but when they do something out of the ordinary, like going up skiing, that they realize they are not fully healed.

What is the treatment for a calf strain? First you are going to calm it down, work with anti-inflammatories to decrease the swelling, gradually start stretching then add exercises. Years and years ago they would rest the heck out of it and people would lose a range of function as a result. Today you want to keep that muscle working enough to stimulate the tissues that are supposed to be healing without over doing it and enjoy a much better recovery from your calf muscle injury.

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