Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

David Relling

Keywords

Achilles Tendon -- injuries; Conservative Treatment; Exercise Therapy; Muscle, Skeletal -- injuries; Rupture -- therapy

Abstract

Description: The gastrocnemius muscle is a two joint muscle originating on the femur and inserting into the calcaneus through the Achilles tendon. The gastrocnemius spans the knee and ankle joint providing important stabilization and movement functions in walking, running, and jumping activities. Rupture of the Achilles tendon is one of the most common tendinous injuries. Non-operative, conservative treatment of the acute Achilles tendon rupture demonstrates comparable results to surgical intervention. Non-operative management promotes patient tolerance, low cost, and positive clinical outcomes. Previous studies have supported the concept of functional bracing as a conservative, alternate treatment for an acutely ruptured Achilles tendon. Physical therapy modalities and exercise interventions are a common occurrence after Achilles tendon injuries. The purpose of this case report is to describe the use and outcome of non-operative treatment including functional bracing, physical therapy modalities, and exercise interventions after an acute gastrocnemius medialis and lateralis muscle rupture in one patient.

Procedures/Methods: The proposed study will utilize the physical therapy examination, evaluation, and intervention as a representative case report to augment the knowledge currently available for the topic of gastrocnemius and soleus ruptures. Evidence based research will be utilized to identify current best practices in the area of Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius rupture and repair.

Results: Through the application of evidence based examination and intervention, the results of this project should improve client outcomes for physical therapy services. This case report may stimulate future research comparing non-operative management and intervention of acute gastrocnemius medialis and lateralis muscle rupture with operative management and intervention.

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