Have you ever been kicked or kneed in the calf? Have you ever been watching a football game and suddenly wondered what happens to the player(s) at the bottom of the pile? Do you think about what types of injuries they might obtain?

One possible injury is a calf contusion. Read the information below for details and medical treatment.

What is a calf contusion?

● When the muscle is crushed to the bone that results in bleeding within the muscle.
● Moderate to severe contusions take an average of 4-6 weeks to heal.
● Minor contusions take less time.


● Caused by direct impact or trauma to the muscle

Signs and Symptoms

● Instant pain
● Pain many vary
● Loss of muscle function
● Difficulty walking or running properly
● Pain while stretching the muscle
● Bruising may appear


● Rest
● Ice
● Compression (Lightly wrap an ACE bandage around the injured muscle to help reduce swelling)
● Elevate the affected leg to help reduce swelling
● Use a protective device (Crutches to reduce pressure on the injured muscle)


● Failure to treat the contusion properly may lead to myositis ossificans.
● Myositis ossificans:
○ When the injured person fails to apply ice, rest, massages to the injured calf muscle immediately after the injury.
○ Bone growth occurs within the muscle because the body mistakenly sends new bone repair cells to the site of injury.
○ This can be difficult to treat.

Signs and Symptoms of Myositis Ossificans

○ Gradual onset of pain
○ Restricted range of motion (ROM)
○ May feel a hard lump deep in the muscle


**** Seek professional advice from a sports injury specialist ASAP!

Figure 1: Male runner holding injured calf muscle and suffering with pain.


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2022). Muscle Contusion (Bruise). https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/muscle-contusion-bruise/

Breslavtsev Oleg. (2022). [Photo]. Male runner holding injured calf muscle and suffering with pain.
Sprained ligament while running outdoors. View from the back close-up. https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/male-runner-holding-injured-calf-muscle-1434114725

Herbenick, M. (2018). Contusions. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/88153-overview

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