Mechanism of Injury
- Patients often report hearing a pop in the back of their calf.
- Pain and swelling most commonly at the junction of the calf muscle and the Achilles tendon, the location of the rupture.
- Palpation of a defect at the site of pain and swelling is usually possible.
- The flexion compression test of the gastrocnemius muscle for Achilles rupture is negative, meaning that the Achilles still flexes the foot when the Plantaris is ruptured.
Examination and diagnosis
Treatment and rehabilitation
Once the diagnosis is confirmed and Achilles tendon rupture ruled out, the following treatments are effective for reducing pain and swelling, and speeding recovery:
- Ice and compression.
- Soft tissue manipulation and massage to directly stimulate repair.
- Elastic support (e.g., ACE, TEDs stocking, Tubigrip) from foot to knee.
- Patient can use crutches in the early phase if weight bearing is painful.
- Physical therapy with range of motion exercises and soft tissue manipulation followed by a gradual strengthening program is an important aspect of management.