Ask the Expert: Michael D. Adams, MD Comments on Mavericks's Elton Brand's Most Recent Injury

Newly signed Dallas Maverick's power forward, Elton Brand, is out of commission due to 'sore calf'. Brand's injury history isn't the shortest read on record. Our Michael D. Adams, MD, explains Brand's latest injury, "Calf injuries in athletes usually involve partial or complete disruption of the muscle-tendon unit of the gastroachilles, the motor which plantar flexes the ankle. The athlete will typically experience acute pain in the mid or distal calf during running or jumping, particularly in cooler weather or after inadequate stretching. Mid-calf injuries involve a strain, or partial tearing, of the gastrocnemius or soleus muscles. These injuries will almost always heal without surgery, often requiring initial immobilization in a splint or boot, with later physical therapy for gradual strengthening and stretching, with return to sport in 3-6 weeks, depending on severity of the strain. Distal injuries involve partial or complete disruption of the Achilles' tendon. These injuries frequently require surgical repair in the athletic patient, followed by a more lengthy period of immobilization and therapy, with return to sport in 3-6 months, but some weakness, swelling, and stiffness may persist for up to one year. These injuries may be prevented with ad equate pre-participation stretching and perhaps core/balance training."