Scar Tissue in Calf

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  • #54405
    Eric Landmann

    I experienced a lead fall on rock last August, decked on a ledge, landed on a pile of sharp rocks. The fall lacerated my calf down to the bone and broke the fibula. It looked like a shark bite. Now it’s all healed over, I have a very sexy scar about 20cm long and quite a lot of scar tissue down deep into the muscle. I did go through physical therapy for a few months to regain some mobility which helped. My main sport is ice climbing and I had a decent season, but the muscle is deformed and still fairly weak. What is the best way to get rid of the scar tissue and get stronger? More PT? Therapeutic massage? Weight training? Unsure how to proceed.

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Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Moderator
    Thomas Summer, MD on #54445

    Hi Eric!

    Nice shark bite;-) Good that the shark didn’t get other parts of your body!

    But seriously: to continue with PT and get some deep massage and fascial treatment is a good idea. A good PT can also show you how you can massage the calf yourself.
    How is the mobility now? If it’s still limited keep working on that. But you can make everything more functional. Also the strength training. Calf raises. Lots of ankle stability/balance work. Good that you had a decent climbing season. Climbing is also one of the best exercises you can do for the calf.
    There is also the option of getting an injection in and around the scar tissue. Do you have an orthopedic doc? There are different things that can be used. But talk to an orthopedic doc, to figure out the best option. If you are interested…

    hope that helps?!
    Keep climbing and be aware of the sharks!


    Eric Landmann on #54505

    Thanks so much for your advice. There are a couple of things that didn’t occur to me that you suggested. I’ll get on it!

    Thomas Summer, MD on #54510

    I’m glad if I can help a bit.
    Another thing to sonsicer would be shock wave therapy. Not the focused one but radial.


    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #54528

    Wow! Cool scar….. On that note, scar and deformation doesn’t really go away, but you can get it so it moves better and doesn’t bother you. It will benefit you to do some additional strengthening even though you have returned to walking/climbing etc. With weakness you will compensate to get the work done, and that will not be a good thing at some point. Do 5x30sec single calf raise HOLDS (isometrics) and see how you do. Move to 5×45, then progress to calf raises without weight. Then bring in the rest of your leg with SINGLE leg deadlifts, step downs. For quick movement to repeats of skips/hops etc. once you are 90% in strength.
    Rolling for mobility, and dry needling by your therapist.
    Hope that gives some ideas.

    Eric Landmann on #54543

    Thanks for the treatment advice, I have more work to do! I’m going to start with these suggestions today.

    Eric Landmann on #66391

    Update on this. It is now 10 months later. I can go hiking, ice climbing without much restraint, rock climbing too. I can tolerate a reasonably full day (6–8 hours) climbing or hiking. The last month I have started tentatively running short distances, run a few blocks, walk a bit, run some more. This seems to work but aches that evening and the next day. I don’t expect this will change much. Using a Theragun has seemed to make the muscle more supple. So certainly could be worse, but still some room for improvement. Thanks again to everybody for their help

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