in 2009, I tore my gastrocnemius muscle in my right calf. It's the shorter muscle - the one that runs on the inside of your leg. It starts about midpoint up on your calf. I tore it doing banded sprint runs at my gym.
I aggravated it by ignoring it and walking on it for ten days. Well, no. I didn't walk on it. I pulled that leg behind me every where I went, and when the pain became so acute I couldn't stand it, I started crying and was asked to leave work. I wasn't to come back until I was better. I went to a very very good sports ortho in the area - it helps when you know people, I'm a firm believer in that - and was given crutches and a walking boot and told to sit on my rump and do nothing for a long, long time.
I wore that boot for over five months. I went to PT forever and ever and ever and rehab and it was mostly better. When I started running to earn my black belt, it crapped out on me and I ended up having to ditch the running. Well, no. I *could* run, but it was a slow and pitiful thing and, also, somewhat discomfortable.
Now it is 2012. And my leg STILL HURTS. ALL THE TIME.
It's not an acute pain. It's a constant, dull, nagging pain. I liken it to the feeling you have in your muscle right before it spasms into a cramp. My leg always feels as if it needs a good stretch - but that doesn't help. I stretch every day. I warm up slow. I don't jump. I don't run. I get massages. I wear compression sleeves. I roll it out with a foam roller. I leave my right foot on the ground ALWAYS while in Zumba. I wear really good and supportive shoes and stop when it hurts.
If I walk further than about 4 miles, the pain becomes more acute and goes down to my achilles. I can feel a dull ache every minute of the day, and even doing something as stupid as driving - I can feel it cramp just from pushing the pedal for a long time.
I feel like I'm 197 years old with the most babied leg in the history of legs. See also - I feel like a poser, because I don't limp and so most people don't think that there's anything wrong. It's affected my cardio and my weight and my mental state. Even if I could afford to go back to boxing, I probably wouldn't because I can't stand in kick stance (on your toes) for that long now - it's too painful. And I loves me some boxing.
About a month ago, I started having random, out of nowhere, muscle spasms. It's kinda like a party trick - I can look at my leg when it's happening and see the muscle quivering. I ramped up my calcium/magnesium/potassium intake, but it kept on happening.
Today, I went back to sports ortho. It appears that the original tear is either not fully healed, or, more likely, has reintroduced itself to my leg. It may have decided to bring a few friends along for the fun - as in, there may be a few smaller tears hanging out in there as well.
I am so pissed.
I have an MRI scheduled for next week. (Which, hello, I almost cancelled, because it's going to be more than $2000 !!!!!!) My husband told me to get it done - he's tired of hearing me complain about my leg. I'M tired of hearing my complain about my leg. EVERYONE is tired of hearing me complain about my leg.
After that, we decide. I have three options:
- Have surgery, which would entail cutting the muscle and reattaching it. Would probably be *very* successful. Would definitely be *very* painful. Would take a lot of healing time.
- Undergo an experimental procedure called PRP that has a decent success rate in this type of case. Would be very painful. Not as painful as surgery and has a quicker recovery time. Would not be covered by insurance probably.
- Do nothing and continue in discomfort forever, and maybe one day have a total and full tear that would decide the entire matter for me.
Gee. I don't have any idea which of those situations is better.