Off the Courts: Occupational "Tennis Leg"

Workplace Health Saf. 2019 Jan;67(1):5-8. doi: 10.1177/2165079918786294. Epub 2018 Aug 30.


Objective: Injury to the gastrocnemius muscle (tennis leg) is a presenting complaint often associated with athletic pursuits. Despite that label, this form of injury is likely to be common to a variety of salaried and nonsalaried pursuits beyond sports.

Method: We describe the presentation and management of two cases of "tennis leg" injury occurring in an occupational rather than athletic setting and review the relevant medical literature.

Results: Partial tears of the medial insertion of the gastrocnemius tendon were documented in both cases, in the first through magnetic resonance imaging and in the second by ultrasound.

Conclusion: Rupture of the tendon to the medial head of the gastrocnemius, the so-called "tennis leg" injury, should be considered as potentially work-related trauma, rather than taken to be solely a sports injury.

Keywords: calf trauma; gastrocnemius muscle tendon rupture; industrial; muscle tear; occupational; tennis leg; work related.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries
  • Household Work*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Occupational Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Injuries / therapy
  • Personnel Administration, Hospital*