How Much Pressure Will Burst a Calf Implant?

I am involved in a variety of contact sports and I am wondering what is the likelihood that a calf implant will burst from a heavy impact, or if pressure is applied to it for a long period of time (such as in a jiu-jitsu match)?

Doctor Answers 10

Pressure to burst calf implants

Calf implants used in the USA are soft, solid silicone. They are not gel or liquid so they cannot rupture.
Extreme pressure however can move them out of position.
A rule of thumb: if it is very painful, you need to stop.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

North American Calf Implants do NOT burst!

In North America, calf implants are made of solid, yet soft, silicone implant (unlike other parts of the world where they use gel, similar to breast implants).  Therefore, they cannot burst.  In theory, they could break - or fracture - with an incredible blow to them, yet I have never seen it.  They are made to undergo physical stress of day-to-day sporting activities.  I use various shapes of soft-solid (ie non-gel) silicone implants and each model comes in various sizes.  I choose the implants based on the patient's anatomy and his desired 'look':  The implants are placed under the FASCIA of the original calf muscle (usually the inner part of that muscle). The procedure is performed in a fully-accredited surgi-center, with board-certified anesthesiologists, under general anesthesia.  Cost is 9000$ + taxes, and it includes everything from the surgical fees, the facility, the implants, nurses and anesthesiologists.  I learned the technique from the pioneer of calf implant, who is a Canadian.  I have performed calf implantation for 6 years, approximately 1-2 per month. Hope this helps!  Dr. Marc DuPere, Board-certified Plastic Surgeon, Toronto, Canada  416.929.9800

Marc DuPéré, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Stability of calf implants

It is very unlikely to break a calf implant, since they are made of a solid elastomer of silicone.  There is no fluid or liquid within a calf implant.  I would believe that you would be very safe even for  an athlete who gets hit in the leg, or strikes with the leg, in your sport


Good luck to you.


Frank Rieger M.D.  Board Certified Plastic Surgeon,   Tampa


The solid silicone calf implant should withstand  heavy impacts, and prolonged applied pressure. It will not readily rupture.

Should you receive a sufficient amount of traumatic energy to rupture the implant, you will most likely have other extensive injuries to the lower leg as well.  Once implanted and healed you will have no restrictions to any physical activity.

Carlos Cordoba, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Durable calf implants

Calf implants are made of solid silicone (as opposed to breast implants which have a thin shell with a gel inside. The force required to break one would be so great that it would damage the muscles and bone also. You should be OK with contact sports.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Calf implants are more durable than human tissue!

As noted by all of my colleagues, calf implants are solid silicone, and cannot rupture or leak. The newest type of silicone gel breast implants are cohesive (soft solid) and cannot leak or rupture, and the implants used in calf augmentation, pec enlargement, etc. are even more firm and "rubbery" than these soft breast implants. Any blow or pressure that your body can withstand will not damage your calf implants, but could, of course, damage your tissues, causing muscle rupture, bleeding, or in rare cases of extreme force, displace your implant by rupturing the scar that holds the implant(s) in their proper position. Proper position of the implants (2 per side, one for each head of the gastrocnemius muscle they are augmenting) below the fascia holds them in place when healed. Too much activity (or too strenuous) too soon can cause problems. Follow your advised restrictions, especially elastic leg support while healing to avoid fluid accumulation. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Calf Implants are very durable

Calf implants are made of a solid silicone material, and therefore they can not "burst".  This is different from breast implants, which are silicone shells filled with either salt water or silicone gel.  You need not worry about the durability of calf implants.  They will last a lifetime.

Kevin F. Hagan, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Calf implants do not rupture.


Unlike silicone gel breast implants, calf implants are solid pieces of silicone polymer or plastic. For this reason they cannot burst like a silicone gel breast implant. Calf implants are placed under the fascia and over the muscle of the gastrocnemius. In this position, they should not interfere with normal activity.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Calf implants cannot burst.

Calf implants are made of solid silicone. They cannot rupture. A silicone breast implant is rubberized silicone polymer housing a shorter chain silicone gel polymer. With enough pressure it can rupture.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Very little likelihood that a calf implant would burst

Calf implants are made out of solid silicone gel like material that is not likely to burst if subjected to trauma. However, the implant sits on top of the calf muscle and could cause injury to the muscle if the calf were hit hard enough or subjected to extreme pressure as in a leg lock. If an individual is involved in very physically demanding contact sports such as Brasilian jiu-jitsu, I would not recommend calf implants.

Joel B. Singer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.