Tennis Leg: A Unique “Strain”, Management Approach and Review of the Literature

Mahdi Y Khalfaoui, Anthony McEvoy


The term tennis leg is often used to denote any pathology resulting from acute injury to the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. Management of such cases is usually conservative, with scarce evidence in the literature describing cases of surgical intervention for such patients. Authors performing surgical repair, have done so for complete ruptures of the medial gastrocnemius head, usually in the acute setting. In these cases reported outcomes have been encouraging. As our imaging capabilities evolve variations in the exact pathoanatomy denoting clinic tennis leg are now emerging. We present a unique case of a linear type myotendinous tear affecting the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle in a 45-year-old athletic patient. Following failed conservative measures, we describe an approach to management in the non-acute setting, which successfully resulted in resolution of our patient’s symptoms and return to competitive activities.  We also address the evidence available within the literature regarding the management options available for tennis leg. 


Tennis Leg; Calf Strain; Medial head gastrocnemius; Medial Gastrocnemius head release; Surgical repair; Sports

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