Article Text

Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
Isolated tear of the tendon to the medial head of gastrocnemius presenting as a painless lump in the calf
  1. Christopher Watura1,
  2. William Harries2
  1. 1
    College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  2. 2
    North Bristol NHS Trust, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol BS16 1LE, UK
  1. Christopher Watura, chris.watura{at}


We report on a case of isolated tear of the medial head of gastrocnemius tendon. The patient presented with a painless lump in the right calf and denied any prior history of trauma or strain to the leg. A longitudinal split of the tendon was demonstrated at ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). There were no other abnormalities and the gastrocnemius muscle was normal. There are no reports in the literature of isolated gastrocnemius tendon tear. To date the calf muscle complex injury described in this area is tearing of the medial head of gastrocnemius muscle, sometimes referred to as “tennis leg”. We conclude that an isolated tear of the tendon to the medial head of gastrocnemius should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a lump or swelling in the upper medial area of the calf and we recommend ultrasound or MRI as the investigations of choice.

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  • Competing interests: none.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication.