Case report: medial gastrocnemius strain rehabilitation




Mitchell, Ethan

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Angelo State University. Department of Physical Therapy.


Background and Purpose: Gastrocnemius tears are relatively rare, especially when in comparison to the more common Achilles tendon injury. This case study set out to provide insight on setting up a successful rehabilitation program for patients with a medial gastrocnemius strain. Case Description: The patient was a 37-year-old male who presented with a grade II medial gastrocnemius strain that was sustained while dancing on vacation. The patient’s only comorbidity was a BMI of 37 (despite somewhat muscular frame) & the evaluation revealed no red flags. The patient was motivated to heal to walk his kid to school and begin a new exercise journey. Outcomes: Over the 9-week span, the patient improved from 21/80 to 63/80 (55% increase) on the Lower Extremity Functional Scale. The patient’s passive dorsiflexion (leg extended) improved from 5 degrees and painful to 15 degrees and non-painful. Additionally, the patient reported “high satisfaction” with care. Discussion: This study has shown that fostering patient buy-in/compliance, setting expectations for tissue healing times, and a graded exercise program can lead to positive outcomes in patients with a medial gastrocnemius strain.



Gastrocnemius Strain, Tennis Leg, Rehabilitation