I have ongoing calf swelling and Achilles Tendon pain after motorscooter crash

by Bert
(Van Nuys, CA, USA)

Hello Joshua - I bought a motorscooter when gas prices went through the roof.

I didn't know how to ride, and was learning when I guess I put my foot down to turn, and I fell. The scooter wound up on my left leg.

This was on a Sunday in April 2007. I limped a little, but by the next day I thought I was fine. I went to work. On Thursday of the same week, I came home from work, and my left calf was extremely swollen.

I went to the Urgent Care, they measured it, it was 6 cm larger than the right calf. They sent me to the emergency room where I had an ultrasound. No blood clot. They advised I stay off of it for weeks. I had just started the job in January, so that wasn't possible. The swelling went down a little, but never back to normal.

I did have an MRI, and the orthopedist put me in a boot to try to get the swelling down. This was in October. My calf was so large they had to use extra long straps to wrap around it.

I wore the boot for a little over 5 weeks, and he said he had no idea if it was going to go back to normal.

This year the Achilles tendon in my left ankle flared up, I believe from the same accident, and I had surgery on it in July. Of course before the surgery I had another MRI.

Well the calf is again swollen. I went back to same emergency room, because I called the doctor's office, and they did another ultrasound, still no blood clot. I didn't know what esle to do so I bought some cheap sock thing to wear. In ordering I had to measure both of my calves. My left calf is 2 inches larger than my right. As a result of the surgery, the doctor ordered physical therapy, and that is helping.

They're more concerned with the swelling than the tendon. They put electrodes on it, and giant ice packs. I do my exercises at home. I'm so tired of laying on the couch with my leg elevated. I am extremely frustrated.

Last night I put my leg up for about 45 mins, and when I woke up it moved freely like my right calf. I brushed my teeth, took a shower, and it swelled up again.

It's so tight when it's swollen I just hate it.

I did ask the last time when I went to the emergency room, why don't they just pop it? If swelling is fluid build up, then just stick a needle in and remove the excess fluid? Wouldn't that just aleviate my condition?

Thanks for reading my letter.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Bert.

I do have some ideas and suggestions, but first let me get more information.

1. How hard was the impact on your leg when the scooter landed on it?

2. Did your leg get burned from the heat of the motor?

3. Any chance there was a small fracture?

4. What exactly did the surgeon do surgery for? Achilles tendonitis? Exploratory surgery? I'm curious why exactly they did surgery. Just because you hurt?

Popping it wouldn't really work the way you want it to. It's more like a million ballons, as opposed to just one balloon.

And even if it did get drained, that's not really the issue. Just like wearing a boot in no way deals with the issue.

The trick is, we need to find what exactly is triggering the swelling, and/or what is up that has the return system not be working like it should.

Maybe you have some Achilles Tendonitis, but...we'll see.

Tendonitis is a dynamic, and progressive. The factors are in place to some degree -before- injury from crashes etc, and the trauma pushes the progression along.

And there is definitely something in there triggering a Process of Inflammation.

One of the factors of inflammation is that it can/does turn off the 'circulation out' part (which causes swelling).

See: What Is Tendonitis

Answer the above questions and let's go from there.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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