Are you ready for some football?! I am and I sure hope Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie Vita Vea is too. The Bucs first round pick has been hampered this entire preseason with what has been described as a calf strain. As a result, he has not played a single down of football in an actual game in over a month.
Medically speaking, a “calf strain” is a pretty broad term that describes an injury to the back of your lower leg. People are probably familiar with “pulling a hamstring.” This injury is similar to that. There are several degrees of strains ranging from overstretching the muscle or ligament to actually tearing it. The calf muscle is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. They both merge into a single, strong tendon called the achilles tendon.
Vita Vea’s injury occurred during an 11 on 11 drill in training camp. It was initially thought to be a more severe achilles tendon injury however after a thorough exam by their team doctor, it was determined to be just a calf strain. Generally, these take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to heal depending on severity. Minor cases are treated with immobilization in a boot and rest. Very rarely do they need surgery. Prevention is actually the number 1 treatment. Always properly warm up such as a brisk jog, jumping jacks, or a few minutes on a stationary bike.
These are very common in athletes who need to make sudden jumps, cuts, and bursts of speed. This puts a lot of force and tension on the calf which cause it to strain if not properly warmed up.
If you find yourself with what you believe is a Calf Strain and are struggling to walk, be sure to give us a call and make an appointment with one of our doctors. Don’t ignore it because it could easily be mistaken for an Achilles Tendon Rupture. We have the best Tampa Podiatrists and Wesley Chapel Podiatrists on staff to get you walking normally again. Let us give you a clean bill of health so call 813-875-0555. We have offices conveniently located in South Tampa, North Tampa, Wesley Chapel, and Brooksville.
Get Well Soon Vita Vea and Go Bucs,
Dr. Binh Nguyen