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Old 01-14-2006, 01:41 PM   #1
Anthony Bainbridge
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For awhile I have avoided running because of what I thought were shin splints. As I researched ways to remedy my problem, I began to find information on other forms of pains that are often confused with shin splints. Chronic Compartment Syndrome (CCS) was one that fit my problem exactly.

Basically, any type of movement that involves up/down ankle flexation will cause tightness/fullness and eventually severe pain in my ankle/lower shin area. When I stop the exercise, the pain goes away within 5 minutes. I have no residual pain. The worst activity is running or walking. However, I have also experienced this same pain while rowing AND I can reproduce the issue (to a smaller degree) if I walk around on my heels.

As of right now, I'm 95% certain CCS is my problem, but will be seeing a doctor to verify in the near future.

With all the research of done on CCS, the common theme is that to eliminate the problem you either stop doing the exercises that cause pain or get surgery (via fasciotomy).

So question time ... has anyone here had this problem? Did you fix it without surgery? If you had surgery, how long did it take to fully recover? And could you do activities that didn't cause pain previous to the surgery? For example, could you squat, clean, swim, chins, dips, etc while waiting for the surgery to finish healing?

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2006, 04:47 PM   #2
Kenneth Urakawa
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I used to know a couple of people that had the surgery. It's been a while, but as I recall it's not a horrendous recovery period (couple of months?). I do know that both of them said that it was much better afterwards.

Hope that helps a bit--Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2006, 04:52 PM   #3
Anthony Bainbridge
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Thanks Kenneth. I've read 6-12 weeks, but it was unclear what can be done during that period. If I can still train and just avoid the things that cause pain (running), that would be perfect. Any chance you can ask them what they did during their recovery period?
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Old 01-15-2006, 06:38 AM   #4
Paul Siatczynski
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Your recovery will partly depend upon which compartments are involved. There are 4 compartments in the leg- the anterior, lateral and superficial and deep posterior. The prognosis is better and the recovery is faster if your problem involves only the anterior or lateral compartments. Since you can reproduce your problem by walking on your heels, this is probably the case, but compartment pressure testing will tell for sure. The recovery time from a release of the anterior and lateral compartments would be on the order of a few weeks. You could probably swim as soon as the incision heals in about a week. You could do bench press,pushups, pullups, ring and bar work almost immediately.Body weight squats probably wouldn't take long, either. Rowing and possibly deadlifts in 1 to 2 weeks. Cleans would take longer, because of the jump. Running could start at 4 to 8 weeks- slowly. For this type of surgery there isn't a set recovery time- it's determined by pain. swelling, etc. and your own tolerance.
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:55 AM   #5
Anthony Bainbridge
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Paul,

Thanks for the info! This is what I wanted to hear. I'll be booking an appointment asap to determine the actual cause. I'll keep everyone posted.
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:24 PM   #6
Anthony Bainbridge
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Just an update: I spoke with a physiotherapist and he said it sounds like CCS. I was referred to a sports med clinic for a pressure test next Monday.
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:39 AM   #7
Richard Paul Ham-Williams
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Anthony, no disrespect to physio's but they are more qualified for "hard" tissue work i.e. joints and ligaments.

Definately see a recommended sports therapist for a more definative diagnosis

hope its not too bad and your recover swiftly
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:42 AM   #8
Anthony Bainbridge
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Thanks Richard!

From last week:
I saw a sports medicine doctor on Monday (23rd?), but they didn't have the equipment to test for compartment syndrome. He is referring me to a orthopedic surgeon who has to see me at least once before the test is done. A week later and we still haven't set up an appointment for the first visit. Slow *** doctors. Anyway, I hope to make an appointment early next week and then get the test on Friday at the fracture clinic (this is where the testing equipment is).

We went through other possible problems (real shin splint, Tarsal tunnel syndrome, etc) and non of them matched my symptoms. Right now it's about 99% certain that I have CCS. Once the test is done and it reveals that I do have CCS, I'll make an appt for surgery. Hopefully I get in well before summer. I'd like to jog this year.

From today:
I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on February 10th. He has to do an initial consultation, but there will most likely be a pressure test the same day. I'll keep ya posted!
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:28 AM   #9
Anthony Bainbridge
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I just got back from the orthopedic surgeon appointment. I officially have Chronic Compartment Syndrome. Here's some info ...

"In 1990, Pedowitz et al proposed criteria for chronic CS. Diagnosis requires 1 or more of the following: a resting pressure of greater than or equal to 15 mm Hg, a 1-minute postexercise pressure of greater than or equal to 30 mm Hg, and a 5-minute postexercise pressure of greater than or equal to 20 mm Hg (95% confidence level)."

My measurement post exercise was taken 5-7 minutes after running because the treadmill was on the other side of the hospital. It came in at 110 mm Hg. Two minutes after entry it dropped to 107. The orthopedic Surgeon said he's never seen it that high - ever.

So I'll be getting surgey within the next two months. It's a day surgery, in and out, so nothing major. I have a competition March 18th, so it will most likely be between March 18th and April 30th. Unfortunately, this could cause problems with my grappling tournament in April. :-(

He said I should plan for AT LEAST one week off work (whoohoo!) and possible 2-3. I hope it's not that long because it would also mean no training during that time. I hope to be in the pool within a 1 week and then some light weight training shortly after. He said to base my progress on my own pain tolerance.

So I'm happy my "self diagnosis" was correct, happy surgery will be soon, disappointed it could interfer with my grappling tournament, and disappointed/relieved that it will most likely interfer with the marathon in August.

I'll let you know when the surgery is officially booked and also detail the experience/recovery for those interested.

(Message edited by anthonyb on February 10, 2006)
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Old 02-10-2006, 05:21 PM   #10
Stephen Reeks
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Are you still keen on the marathon Anthony,
I personally think it would be very risky even after you are fully recovered.
I hope all goes well for you mate.
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