7 and a half months - Plantar Flexion issues, shin splint ?s

I’m 7.5 months post surgery, PT has been over for a while and I’m getting back to that normal state though I haven’t done any explosive activities and haven’t jogged too much because I prefer to fast walk farther and longer than if I was just jogging. My self rehab consists of walking, some heel lifts, some calf stretching and a ton of stairs.

I’ve been getting shin splints on my affected side, I used to get them when jogging, now I get them when walking and its pretty much just my recovering leg. I’m hoping this is due with the rebuilding of that leg and they’ll just go away the more I get out and about.

Not painful but my un-scientific observation shows that my plantar flexion on my recovoring leg is not close to my “good” leg. Dorsi flexion seems the same on both, I’m not sure why the plantar flexion has not come back. My thought was that plantar flexion would have come back before dorsi flexion but I guess I’m wrong

Anyone have issues with plantar flexion and ways to improve it this far into recovery? Any issues with shin splints and stretches or ways to get them to go away? 


#1 Darryn on 05.20.13 at 11:35 am

I have also had some shin splint issues on good leg when run-walking, so looking forward to suggestions. I am trying to focus on an even gait, but suspect there is an imbalance between left and right strides which is causing the issue.

#2 soccergotme on 05.20.13 at 1:29 pm

Interesting that yours are on the good leg, I was thinking since mine were on the recovering leg maybe it was related to a weaker calf muscle. I also concentrate on an even gait. I feel like I’m pretty even when I walk, fast walk and jog… but when the shin splints kick in that all changes I can tell the gait is screwed up so I slow it down to a very slow walk are stop for a few minutes so the shin splints start to fade.

#3 Stuart on 05.20.13 at 4:33 pm

There is a big difference between shin splints and shin soreness but over time the term splints has been used to define both. Mostly people will get shin soreness when the workload is increased, you change your running footwear or your footwear is bad. There are also biomechanical factors and strangely your gluteous muscles have a bit to do with it. Your workload has increased and there may be some biomechanical issues. A weaker calf can also cause this pain. The injured leg has been a little behind the other so it is most likely a normal thing. Many years ago a marathon runner told me of a simple stretch to ease the soreness and I have used it on myself and passed it on to many others with great success. Sitting or laying down put the heel of your untroubled leg on the top of the toes of your troubled leg. Push down with your heel and push up with your toes against the force. Hold it for about 10 seconds and release. It will also put some stress on your AT so do not over do it but at 7+ months it should be strong enough. 3 sets of 10 should get you started. I would do it just before getting out of bed and at night but you can do it whenever you a few moments to spare. Continue your exercise but if possible do it on softer surfaces. Check your shoes for the right support. Maybe look at orthotics. This type of soreness should go away in a week or so but if not you should consult a PT. Hope it works for you.

#4 mikejp88 on 05.20.13 at 9:10 pm

I have a post about being weak in plantarflexion. There’s a study I found talking about it, but basically it sounds like there’s nothing you can do at this point besides therapy.
This could be totally wrong, but shin splints could be due to other muscles compensating. I believe one cause of shin splints is an irritation of the insertion of one of the not-calf muscles, likely from it compensating for your weak calf ( a cobweb in my head is thinking tibialis posterior, but that could be way off). Definitely ask a PT/MD.

#5 mikejp88 on 05.21.13 at 7:28 pm

Actually I think I’m wrong if it’s true shin splints. That should only be tibialis anterior which pulls opposite the calf.

#6 soccergotme on 05.22.13 at 11:35 am

Mike I checked out your link, since I’m done with actual PT I think I need to add to what I’m doing at home, hopefully with work over time the plantarflexion will improve and get back to normal
On the shin splints I think I need to work through those also, its weird because somedays I experience them and some days I don’t and I’m dealing with the same route, same pace, same stretching

#7 kkirk on 05.22.13 at 11:41 am

I’m experiencing all sorts of “other” pains while starting to run, weight lift, and bike again. Sore shins, sore knees, and of course stiffness in my AT and ankle. Most of these issues resolve themselves with a little rest and ice.

The more muscle I build back the less these issues become, so I beleive that most of it is from compensating for my weak calf muscle.

#8 Muriel on 06.24.13 at 8:57 pm

Hi I am 10 months post op, almost 100% back to normal but last plantar flexion issues have only just resolved themselves through lots of stairs. Basically this was due to lacking strength in the toes and in the upper calf - something the other leg & muscles compensate for when walking but an issue especially going down stairs: the PT showed me that i was landing on the flat of the foot rather than the toes, making for an unsteady gait. Now i push off from the toes whenever i go up/ down stairs, and i use therabands as well to build up that resistance. I can feel the calf muscles also reacting well to this. Good luck with it!

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