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Fractures (Broken Bones)
Fractures may involve the outside or inside of the leg. The signs and symptoms of fractures are pain, swelling and bony deformities. X-rays are essential and rapid “reduction” (setting the bones close together for healing) is necessary. In extreme cases, open surgery is necessary to reduce the fracture. Often pins, plates and screws are used to maintain the reduction.
These fractures result from repetitive submaximal loads applied to the foot, ankle, leg; they are usually the result of overuse (in athletes, over-training). They are common in long distance runners and female athletes.
Common stress fracture sites include the lower leg (in runners), calcaneus, talus, metatarsals in distance runners, and the big toe.
Pain and point tenderness, often relieved by rest, is typical. X-rays do not always show the fracture. Bone scans and MRI may be useful.
Most heal with rest, immobilization and cross training. Avoid high-impact workouts, and wear good shoes.
Possible Treatment Goals
Gastrocnemius/Calf Muscle Strain
This injury is commonly the result of quick sprints while running. With a muscle strain, there is localized tenderness or a "bulge" more commonly at the inner region of the back of the leg. The pain is aggravated by walking, descending stairs, or raising the heel of the affected leg off the ground.
- Aerobic/Endurance Exercise
- Cryotherapy or Cold Therapy
- Electrotherapeutic Modalities
- Gait or Walking Training
- Ankle Active Range of Motion
- Ankle Joint Mobilization
- Ankle Passive Range of Motion
- Ankle Resistive Range of Motion
- Ice Massage
- Stationary Cycling
- Proprioception Exercises
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Stretching/Flexibility Exercise