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Calf muscle cramps, sore and tender calves, played golf . Cause?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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Hi, I played golf on Saturday and Saturday afternoon had severe calve cramps - it felt like something popped or pull away in my calve during the cramps. They are still sore and tender, could this be a serious problem. I'm flying on Friday and someone mentioned it could have caused a blood clot. What do you think?
I'm 45, 220 and no health problems
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 59 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

You have provided with a good information, but I would like to know some more things to guide you better.

1. Do you have any chest pain, shortness of breath?

2. Is there any knee, ankle joint pain and restriction of the joint movements?

3. Is the pain subsiding on taking pain killers?

According to your history it appears that you have sustained muscular cramps of your calf muscles which can result commonly due to two reasons.

Either you did not perform warm up exercise before the game which could cause severe muscle spasm and possible tear in the muscle tendons.

You have not been well hydrated before and during the game which can cause electrolyte imbalance.

Muscular cramps can occur when a person loses electrolytes which are essential in maintaining certain chemical balance in the body. If this balance is disturbed due to high or low level of the electrolytes, problems like this can occur. You need to keep well hydrated before and during the game to prevent muscle cramps.

As of now, you need to consult with your Orthopaedic surgeon to find out if you have sustained any strain in the muscle due to severe muscle spasm and also rule out surgical causes like rupture of possible Popliteal Baker's cyst.

Avoid applying much pressure on that limb, better to use crutches or take help of someone, till your Doctor gets to examine you. You may take a pain killer-muscle relaxant under medical supervision till you see your Doctor but I advise you to consult with your Doctor as soon as possible.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.


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Follow-up: Calf muscle cramps, sore and tender calves, played golf . Cause? 35 minutes later
No chest pains, medicine does help.
So any thoughts about it causing a blood clot. Also, I was flying Friday and playing golf Friday, Sat. and Sun. Do you think that will be okay or will worsen the problem?
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 27 minutes later

Thanks for replying.

Given your history, there is more chance of it being traumatic tear of a muscle tendon than a clot. Clot would produce diffuse swelling of the leg and also constant pain sometimes associated with chest pain and shortness of breath if the clot travels to lungs.

If you do feel any of these problems, then you could consider possibility of clot. Do get to the Emergency Room immediately in such cases.

It is best that you consult an Orthopaedician and get evaluated for possible muscle strain. Sometimes a cyst gets formed in persons with arthritis of the knee joint which can also rupture in the calf causing sudden pain, so do get that ruled out as well.

Keep well hydrated. Avoid strenuous exercise without prior warmup. Avoid any sort of strenuous activity till you are seen by your Doctor.

I hope, I have answered your doubts.

Wish you good health.

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