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BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr09.2009.2278.
Published online 2010 February 19. doi:  10.1136/bcr.09.2009.2278
PMCID: PMC3028468
Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury

Isolated partial tear and partial avulsion of the medial head of gastrocnemius tendon presenting as posterior medial knee pain


We present a case of medial head of gastrocnemius tendon tear. The type of injury widely reported in the literature is tear of the medial head of gastrocnemius muscle or ‘tennis leg’. We previously reported an isolated partial tear and longitudinal split of the tendon to the medial head of gastrocnemius at its musculotendinous junction. The case we now present has notable differences; the tear was interstitial and at the proximal (femoral attachment) part of the tendon, the patient’s symptoms and clinical examination suggested a medial meniscus tear, and magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated bone oedema at the tendon insertion site indicating a traction injury. Both cases suggest that isolated tear of the medial head of the gastrocnemius tendon may have a variety of presentations and appearances and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of tennis leg as well as medial meniscus tear.

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