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Got calf?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was traversing along the ski area boundry at a small area in Canada and hit a deep pocket of powder. I went "over the bars" as I was not expecting the deep snow but only released out of one binding. I fell perfectly straight forward and hit my head on my right ski tip while my right foot was still in my binding. I'm NOT very flexible and felt extreme pain from my ankle all the way up to my hamstring.

The pain was concentrated in my right calf, about 5 inches below my knee. It was the first time in my life I thought I'd have to take the sled down.

Fortunately, I was able to ski down and actually skied 2 more days. A combination of ice, elevation, and Vitamin I (ibuprofen) let me ski with little pain.

A few days later, my entire lower leg turned purple and swelled up like I never imagined a body part could. it was a full 7 inches in diameter larger than my left calf and went from purple to red to yellow.

A week later, I skied 5 days in Tahoe. The swelling had gone down enough to get my boot closed and the pain was minimal while skiing.

Unfortunately, now 4 weeks later, my foot and ankle (well below where my calf hurt) are still swollen. I tried to run on it but the impact hurt too much. I really want to start running again but have no idea what I can do to reduce the pain.

Should I ice it? Should I wrap it before I run? Should I lay off for a few more weeks? Should I see a doctor?

I've got no clue what I did to this calf and am kinda suprised I can ski painlessly (bumps, too) but can't run.
post #2 of 8

and see a doctor
Sounds like a muscle strain or tear.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 10, 2002 07:48 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #3 of 8
A tear, I think, although I've not seen nor heard of one as severe as what you describe.

Muscle tears can be real buggers in that once they heal, you'll still feel pain and discomfort. This is due to the tissue getting "tight" at the site of injury (sorry, I don't know at the moment how else to articulate this).

Since it's now been a few weeks, try some light (VERY light) stretching and perhaps arrange to get massage therapy. Leg massages will stimulate blood flow to the area as well as break up the "knots" that form in the tissue.

Where are you, LisaMarie! Sound off!
post #4 of 8
This is one of those touchy scenarios. Since I've identified myself as a fitness professional, it is absolutely illegal for me to even conjecture about a diagnose or treatment. This would be forbidden even if I worked with a person a few times a week. It is definitely illegal in an internet setting.

I am allowed to offer suggestions for POST rehab, provided someone has been in PT. I am definitely allowed, and encouraged to offer tips for prevention.

Your injury sounds serious enough to see a doctor.
post #5 of 8
Sounds like a gastrocnemius tear, very similar to what I had in December when I piled it face first into deep snow. First off see a ortho MD as it sounds like you need to rest and then rehab the sucker. He can best tell you if something else is wrong, especially a achilles tendon tear which would need timely surgery. You probably did not help things by staying so active in the weeks after surgery as this no doubt led to excessive bleeding which then leads to a prolonged amount of swelling, pain, stiffness and black and blue colors. By the way my leg is still deformed due to tear and yeah I had the huge swelling and purple colors. I went skiing 1` month after injury but took it real easy. I also went through hours of rehab just to walk. The fact is running and walking will make it hurt more than skiing due to the mechanics involved. It'll probably be a few months before full healing is realized. Apparently this is not an unusual occurence as I have encountered several others with the same injury. My bindings released but only after my muscle did. I bought tyrolias with the diagonal heel release after that to minimize the chance of recurrence. Good luck and keep us updated. skidoc
post #6 of 8
Forgot to mention that blood flows downhill and that is why your ankle and foot turned purple, swollen and painful even though the pain originated at 5 inches below the knee. My foot and ankle looked terrible for a while. Edema control helps so see your doc! skidoc
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the information, all...it's exactly what I feared. I was assuming that since I could still ski aggressively after the pull/tear, that it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. Looks like I'm wrong so it's off to the doctor.

For what it's worth, I have absolutely no pain while wearing ski boots so I'm thinking about replacing my Johnston and Murphey's with my Langes while at work [img]smile.gif[/img]

Thanks again.
post #8 of 8
Sounds like a gastrocnemius tear (i.e., calf). A good ER/sports medicine/or orthopaedic doctor should be your first stop for a diagnosis and then you'll need a good physiotherapist with a background in sports injuries. Good luck!
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