Tag Archives: anatomy

#AtoZChallenge – G is for Gastrocnemius muscle

Gastrocnemius muscle

Never heard of it before? I’d never heard of it’s proper name until this past Saturday when I spent between three and four hours in the emergency department of the local hospital.

You’ll know the muscle I’m talking about when I say charley horse . Yup, your calf muscle. How many times have you woken in the night with one of these, then struggle to untangle yourself from the blankets to stand and get your calf muscle against something cold to help relieve the cramp? Usually, the following day there’s a bit of discomfort in the area of the leg where your nocturnal cramp struck your Gastrocnemius muscle and it soon goes away.

But what if the damage is worse than just a leg cramp? What if you tear that muscle? I can vouch for what happens as I experienced such an event early Saturday morning.

I was walking down the stairs into my kitchen, en route to the back door to let the dog in from doing his business (about 6:00). Well mid-stride, I was struck by a charley horse in my leg but in the midst of descending the stairs (and had a bit of momentum -aka head of steam – built up) wasn’t able to stop. I continued and as soon as my foot hit the stair tread, the searing pain sliced through my leg with a pop and that was me, no longer able to put any weight on my foot.

Not realizing the severity of my injury, I hobbled back to the front room and made myself comfy on the couch with my leg elevated and waited for someone else to get up. I spent a few hours with my leg resting on an ice pack but when it wasn’t getting any better, my husband had our son drive us to the emergency department.

So, after a short examination following a shorter than expected wait, it was determined that I had torn my Gastrocnemius muscle.

Prognosis: it will heal – in time. How much time? 3-4 weeks. Try not to use the leg – aka crutches, Tylenol or Advil for the pain.

Under normal circumstances, 3-4 weeks would be fine. Just not right now. But I’ll save that for another #AtoZChallenge post.