Compartment Syndrome is a common Shin or Calf injury in distance runners. It is often confused with Shin Splints. Compartment Syndrome is brought on by activity and is sometimes referred to as 'Exertional Lower Limb Pain'. Compartment Syndrome occurs when the volume of the muscles, blood vessels and nerves become too big for the space within the compartment that contains them. This leads to an increase in pressure within the compartment and compresses all structures within the compartment.
The major symptom of Compartment Syndrome is cramp-like pain, which is brought on by sport and usually it takes about 20 minutes of running before the pain gradually rises to the point where the person can no longer continue. Usually the pain is transient and will ease with rest.
In cases where the pain comes on with exercise, and is relieved after rest, conservative treatment such as physiotherapy and the prescription of Orthotics (insoles) may reduce the severity of the symptoms but cannot get rid of the problem. The most effective treatment is surgery. Ice Packs are essential to help reduce swelling and inflammation following surgery.
Common Compartment Syndrome signs & symptoms: