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Anyone ever tear their gastrocnemius (calf muscle) while skiing?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
7 weeks ago in Whistler took a forward twisting fall into 18" of loose snow on the edge of a run. Relatively low speed and due to stupidity, lack of skill and low light(I hold out hope it wasn't totally my fault). Forward twisting fall and felt a pop in mid air and a split second later an explosion of pain in my left calf. The bindings released but sadly a split second after my muscle. I had already been skiing an hour and a half so I was warmed up but still got ripped.
I've seen and treated quite a few but never heard of it while skiing. Just curious if others have seen this. skidoc
post #2 of 9
On our last trip to Canada I met an Aussie who had done this on the second day of his 2 week ski holiday. He was not impressed! He was getting physio treatment whilst in Nelson but he was not expecting to be able to ski on his holiday. I had never heard of this type of injury before, not sure how he did it.
You are going to need some heavy duty sports massage to get the flexibility back into your calf muscle.
post #3 of 9
Boot fit may be the biggest problem here.

Q: Are your calf muscle almost always tired and sore after skiing?

A: If yes then you may have a boot fit problem. The same one that I had.

My calf muscles were always feeling tired and tight after skiing until Pierre eh suggested that I may need a heel lift because it was not normal for some one who skis as much as I do to have sore and tired calf muscles. I think he might even have mentioned that the lack of a heel lift made me prone to pulls and tears in the calf. Since the lift I have no reoccurrence of the soreness and stiffness. Therefore, you may have a preexisting boot problem that was exacerbated by the type of fall.

Well my .02 anyway.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
10 therapy sessions and hours and hours of stretches and strengthening later I did ski 5 weeks later, albeit on green runs only. You are right about the range of motion, the stiffness surprised even me! The advice on heel lifts is interesting and makes a lot of sense. I have to bring this up with the Surefoot people. I was wondering if my relatively large calves and tight fit in that area might have played a role in it. Thankyou for the feedback! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 9
Thanks for the post Powdigger. I have been experiencing consistant calf soreness. It has been noticeable but I haven't really thought too much about it until I read your post. I have been skiing much more aggressively than I ever have. I will try some heel lifts.
post #6 of 9
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by skidoc:
Just curious if others have seen this. skidoc<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am dealing with the same thing, except I took a backwards, twisting fall and tore the left calf muscle. Although I don't believe it was a complete tear, it sure hurts like hell - especially in the mornings.

As I basically flipped backwards, my right ski released, the left did not. I think the tail got trapped in the snow as I turned, creating the leverage for the tear. It also caused some stress to the knee - but not bad - I suppose I am lucky in that respect.

Unfortunately, it was the first day of our trip - within the first couple of hours. The swelling went down a little the next afternoon, so I decided to take few turns (hey, I shouldn't be using that calf muscle anyway, right?). I stayed on greens and just lollygagged my way down. This was not the brightest of ideas - I don't think I injured the calf any further - but it put some additional stress on my knee.

Oddly enough, I also realized how truly left leg dominant I am - I know, generally, that I am left-side dominant - but the extent and the thoughtlessness of it was surprising.

Ultimately, I spent most of my time as Coco the Houseboy. Add to that our 29.5 hours of driving (that's another story) for a couple hours of skiing - not my idea of fun - but better than breaking rocks in the hot sun.

So . . . skidoc, how does it feel after seven weeks? I am still in week one and I'm already sick of it. I had planned to go see and ski with a friend in Tahoe in March - hope I don't have to cancel.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Don't give up hope! My tear was somewhat severe with tons of bleeding the next day thanks to a 24 hr travel day, the result of my travel agent screwing up. The week after was HELL with the inflammatory stage setting in and like you said ripping explosions of pain in the morning along with the day long feeling on having steel in place of flexible tissue. I went through intense therapy with massage(get the blood out)e stim and after 7 days ultrasound. Stretched it hours each day and after 10 days saw a turn around.
Now 7 weeks out I walk normally and only have pain with more intense exercise. I skied 4 weeks after injury and I'm quite sure you'll do ok in March. Remain positive, don't push it day 1-7 and then do constant gentle stretches with icing between. Good Luck! ski doc [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Forgot to add that you should ask your doctor and therapist for tibi-grip or compressive stockings to decrease swelling which is probably a problem.
Find a good sports med MD or Orthopedic MD. Stay positive!
post #9 of 9

Thanks for the encouragement. Fortunately, I don't think my tear was quite as severe as yours, as I have not noticed any attendent bruising due to bleeding. nonetheless, it is killing me.

I think my left leg may soon boycott athletic events. Over the years, it has suffered a hairline fracture of the tibia (football), a close call on complete destruction of the knee structure that turned out to be just some damaged ligaments(rugby), a shattered ankle (softball), more knee ligament issues (wedding), and know my calf tear (skiing). Meanwhile, my right leg has remained largely unscathed.

I've got a good orthopedic doc here and I'll give him a ring. I had been reticent to do so out of the belief that there probably wouldn't be much he could do for me. Hopefully he can help with some of this stuff - I am tired of being called "Quasimodo" around the office.

I appreciate the advice and encouragement.

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