Ankle and Foot Clinic of Idaho

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The symptoms can be associated with  excessive pronation. We have had some success with decreasing symptoms using orthotics. The best and most successful treatment is a fasciotomy of the compartments. This is a surgical procedure that takes about 10 minutes per compartment to perform. Recovery takes about 4 weeks to return to full activity.

Treatment

Styker intracompartmental pressure monitor used to evaluate compartment pressures.

The diagnosis is only made through direct evaluation of the compartment pressures with specialized equipment (below). The pressure is checked and then the individual exercises and recreates the symptoms. We prefer to do this on a treadmill in our office. 

Diagnosis

Presentation

The most common presentation is pain in the front, back, or side of the lower leg with increased activity. This can include hiking, running, or fast paced walking. There is no injury associated with this condition. This should not be confused with traumatic compartment syndrome which occurs following injury.

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions of the lower extremities. It is often mistaken for shin splints and cramping, leading to chronic pain.

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome