A rotator cuff tear is a common injury expereinced by many athletes. But it is intersting to note that the rotator cuff tear is not called as it is right now. Medical experts and health care practitioners now call it the ACL Tear or the Antero-Cartilage Ligament Tear.
The rotator cuff tear or the ACL tear, is an injury found in the gastrocnemius of the lower leg. This is one of the most unfortunate injuries that an athlete may acquire because a resting period of at least up to 3 months is required for the tear to heal, and because the gastrocnemius is one of the body structures that hold the weight of the body. When there is a tear, running, walking or ven standing may become very painful and may become very difficult to execute.
The gastrocnemius is a very strong and very tough muscle. Given its function – which is to support the whole weight of the body – it really has to be tough to be able to cope up with the daily grind of human activity.
That is why it is nor surptising that the gasrocnimius is the densest muscle of the lower extremities (denser than the thighs). When injury on this particular muscle happens, extreme and excruciating pain is expereience upon standing, walking ,running or any activity that puts weight on the legs.
There are various factors that causes the tear of the gastrocnemius. Sports injury is of course one of the most common culprits. Sports that requires the use of the legs heavily are the most risky avenues to have roator cuff tears. Sports like football, soccer, basketball, and track and field are just some of the sports that puts you at risk to develop or acquire an ACL tear.
Another factor are accidents or trauma to the gastrocnemius. Though not very often and not very common, vehicular accidents may also render the gastrocnimius torn. Accidents like falls and slips may also prove to be a factor in acquiring the condition. But of course these are all highly preventable as long as you take precaution and stay secured and safe.
Just like any medical condition there are rotator cuff tear symptoms that you will feel once you acquire it. The most common and most obvious naturally is the pain. Pain may be descrbied as tolerable when there is no weight being put on the affected leg, but it can be extremely painful once the person tries to stand, tries to walk or tries to do any activity that involves the legs.
Another symptom is swelling. Swelling is very notable in this condition as the circumference of the gastrocnemius tends to go larger, usually around 4 to 10 inches larger than the original size. This is best managed with alternating hot and warm compresses and with the use of anti-inflammatories.
And with any injuries, there are also discolorations that can be noted with this type of condition. For the first 24 to 72 hours, there are no changes in skin color of the injured area, but after 3 to 4 days the color of the skin tends to assume a purplish color and then a hue that resembles magenta, then about after a week it will be bluish to black in color and it takes about a total of 2 and a half weeks for the skin to assume its original color.
People afflicted with this conditon will also feel a tingly sensation in the affected leg and will also feel like some part of the leg is detached. But this is cured once the torn muscle is brought back in place by surgery.
The management for this rotator cuff tear is very simple – surgery. There is simply no other way to fix this since the anatomical part has been torn, it has to be glued together again.
After surgery, the patient is placed on a week’s rest and is encouraged to limit standing up and walking to 30 minutes only and he/she will have to reast at least up to an hour before doing so again. That’s the only precaution needed and the person will be able to resume activities after 2 weeks but is discouraged to do activities that might put excess weight on the legs up until 3 months.