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18 Aug 2006

anterior compartment syndrome
An injury reduced me to walking (I'm an avid runner) but since I wanted to keep up some intensity (and keep burning the calories) I walked on a high incline on my treadmill, very low speed. I must admit though that I've been doing a lot of it since I don't feel like I'm getting tired or a good enough cardio exercise. Problem is my shins are starting to burn very badly. I went to the sports injury page to read up on shin splits because I thought it might be that but the pain is not on the inner side of the shins but more on the outer front sides. According to the article this might indicate anterior compartment syndrome. This is not comforting to me at all! Can you please tell me more about this because I am unfamiliar with it? How do I know whether I've got a problem on my hands or if my legs are just a bit overworked. I really hope this isn't serious because I'm losing all my fitness! and really missing my cardio! Thank you for your insight in this regard!
Answer 385 views
Expert
FitnessDoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Runner

I'm not sure I am adding anything new to what you already know from your own reading, but basically, anterior compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure inside a particular compartment becomes too high, usually as a result of swelling of the muscle. Compartments are formed by the membranes that surround the muscle. Some of the symptoms that you may develop would be, in addition to the ones you raise, swelling, pain on stretching, pain on contraction, pins and needles. I'm not sure if you have these - the fact that you can point your toes up without pain is encouraging, it's a symptom as you say.

There are also a number of other possibilities that can cause pain on the outer side of the shin. Shin splints need not be confined to the inner or medial side. For example, if the muscle that runs on the outside is especially tight, it can cause the same pain. More serious, you can develop stress fractures in the tibia.

My advice is that you get a diagnosis from a doctor. I would make an appointment, preferably with one who knows about sports injuries and have them assess properly. There are tests that can be done and then you know for sure. It's better to do this than to wait and allow it to possibly worsen.

Good luck, I hope you sort it out. By the way, think about swiming and cycling as alternatives in the meantime.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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