I had surgery almost 4 months ago. I went through the limp phase where I could feel a really tight tendon. To get rid of the limp I walk a bit slower and focus on my walk pushing through the entire ROM on my ATR foot.

As I’ve been doing this lately the tendon does not feel as tight and the limp is getting better. However, my calf muscle (not lower down where tendon is but right in the thickest part of the muscle) is getting very sore. This has been going on for about 3 days and coincides with making an effort to get rid of the limp. Tendon does not feel as tight as it use to but calf is sore to the point of almost being painful with every step.

Anyone else experience anything similar? Can’t tell if calf  is just weak, stretching to compensate for what is now shortened tendon, should i slow down on calf raises and exercises, or is this pain with every step a good phase? normal phase? common phase?

10 Responses to “Sore Calf Phase anyone? 4 months post ATR”

  1. normofthenorth Says:

    I’d back off. I even think that concentrating on pushing off normally while it’s still hard and uncomfortable is probably oversold. There’s a time for that, but there’s time before that too, when there’s no shame in shortening one side of your stride to give your healing leg a break. Lots of gimpy strides are harmful, either physically or because they’re habit-forming. But pure asymmetry of stride length with all else good, seems harmless and appropriate for a while.

  2. bionic Says:

    Norm man to man. … you’re an angel.

    Thanks for the helpful reminder. Others are running at this stage so I forgot my own rule to have my own timeline. Your feedback is smart and simple.

    Dvt crossed my mind as I type this. I’ve been pushing to massage out binding of skin. Will do some googling but highly doubt that as only hurts upon muscle bring engaged with step.

  3. jay edwards Says:

    my pt has me doing standing leg extentions to the back and side for the glute.use the bands. less walking.im at ten wks. and walking normal.its been alot of work.fortunatly ive had nothing but time your doing good.

  4. Kiki Says:

    Same experience exactly, bionic (and more or less at same stage). When I walk “correctly,” with no limp or stride differential, heel-to-toe and the whole foot fully engaged, I can feel it in my calf.

  5. kkirk Says:

    I would listen to Norm, I was at the same stage at 6 months and got smilar soreness in my calf. After awhile after trying to strengthen too fast at PT I developed Peroneal tendonitis for about 2-3 weeks that was very painful and I had to back off my PT.

    Also, listen to Norm. IKeep your stride as correct as possible even if you have to take smaller steps. And don’t caompare your recovery to others, because even though most of us follow the same progression, our body will heal at slightly different rates and we there will be variance to our recoveries.

  6. bionic Says:

    Here’s the update in case it happens to someone else. The pain in the calf lasted about a week. It forced me to shorten every stride and walk slower. It felt like it was in the belly of the calf muscle but I was actually able to push a spot on inside top of muscle where it was tender to touch. It’s no longer psinful.

    My guess as to culprit… I was very careful to do toe presses slowly but I increased weight quite a bit which felt OK at the time. I think that along with lots of calf muscle exercise may have caused a muscle pull/strain/rage. That’s what physio thought as well.

    Back to normal abnormal now. Progress certainly isn’t linear. Times when Achilles still gets a bit sore and swollen from just walking around. Pre ATR my habit was to be quick and nimble on my feet and the habit is still there but causes strain on Achilles at this stage.

    I am really missing my cardio, feeling great etc. Use to get it from the scheduled sports. Going to try to schedule something weekly…biking, poor swimming, something to keep the health from slipping too far.

  7. kellygirl Says:

    “Normal abnormal” gave me a good chuckle and you are right that progress isn’t linear. I’m glad that you are on the mend. I’m at 24 weeks and still haven’t managed incremental all of the time. I was stupid just the other day and paid for it this weekend. Thanks for posting!

  8. Cathij Says:

    Hi I had the same problem it’s where the tendon and muscle join. I had tendinitis in it. What helped me was water therapy. Walking back and forth heel toe in a pool. Hope this helps, cathy

  9. normofthenorth Says:

    Cathy, you’re one of the many delighted users of the pool. Now that the Alter-G (neg-gravity treadmill) has been invented, we can call a pool a “poor person’s Alter-G”! For those with easy access anyway.
    Start in deep water, maybe up to your chest or neck. As you heal & strengthen, you can walk and exercise in shallower water. When you’re doing ‘em dry, you’re healed. Makes perfect sense that it’d be great physically and spiritually.
    Only downside I’ve heard was from somebody who jumped into a surface dive and reruptured. Don’t Do That!

  10. Becky Says:

    I had ATR surgery on October 23rd and was in a cast for a week with NWB. I was then put into a cam boot and was told to do PWB with crutches. A couple of days ago I was told to start trying to walk without the crutches so I am completely off of them in a couple of weeks. My issue is that I my calf is sore in the middle. Is this soreness in the calf normal?

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