Exercise induced compartment syndrome?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    So, I've been having problems with lower legs cramps for a while, and have been diagnosed with "exercise induced compartment syndrome". Pretty much facing a fasciotomy to resolve the problem.

    I was curious if anyone here has had a fasciotomy for exercise induced compartment syndrome? How was your recovery?
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jun 01, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    Wow, just looked this up. I assume you've gotten a second opinion on this?
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    Jun 01, 2009 11:58 PM GMT
    EricLA saidWow, just looked this up. I assume you've gotten a second opinion on this?


    I agree with EricLA. Since surgery is suggested I assume you have exhausted all conservative treatments.
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    Jun 02, 2009 12:18 AM GMT
    I haven't had this, but I know a bunch of people who have. As race walkers, we don't tend to have big pecs or biceps, but we get big shins! Given that a number of people have had this. I can say that they've been able to compete afterwards.
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    Jun 02, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    Seems pretty extreme to me.

    I think I'd seek several more opinions and take a lay off.
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    Jun 02, 2009 2:59 AM GMT
    For the rest of us before it is too late:

    Prevention of Exercise-Induced Compartment Syndrome...scroll down

    http://arthritis-symptom.com/d-g/exercise-induced-compartment-syndrome.htm

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    Jun 02, 2009 4:59 AM GMT
    What exactly in your training or routine are producing these symptoms?

    I had it when I was training for a marathon, and was doing trail/hill training at the same time. I continued the marathon training, but had to cut out doing incline training, or had to be well stretched and warmed up if I did any, and even then only limited amounts.

    So I guess I'd try avoiding or at least toning down what causes it along with more stretching and message before doing something like sugery.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 02, 2009 5:11 AM GMT
    Not a Dr here but get a second and third opinion, have you tried lymphatic tissue massage and or cranial sacral work on you legs?? Ask a qualified rheumatologist. It might be rheumatism.

    Peace good luck. Keep us posted.

    mike3
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    Jun 02, 2009 10:42 PM GMT
    It's progressed over the last 6 years. As I've gotten older, and particularly as I've gained muscle mass. The cramping comes and goes; there have been times where just WALKING three blocks is unbearably painful. Currently, just walking from the parking garage to the office, my lower legs cramp (but not debilitating pain). But I recently started playing rugby, and within 5 or 10 minutes of playing, I can no longer run and can barely walk from the pain.

    I've found no way to prevent the cramps; stretching, massage, etc. And icing down the muscles, Advil, muscle relaxers, and waiting are the only solution once it occurs.

    The only way to avoid the pain is inactivity. Cardio at the gym consists of the stationary bike, and that's it. And it's not going to get better as I get older; I can either "just live with it" or it will get worse. Seriously, I'm only 38, I don't want to get a hoover-round yet. ;^)

    I've been to a physical therapist ($$), I've had a doppler ultrasound to see if it's circulatory ($$$$), and multiple blood works ($) to see if it's electrolytes, hydration, thyroid, or red blood cell related. [And to clarify, it's not a joint/arthritis or a nerve/spinal issue.]

    A friend who is the Head Athletic Trainer at a local university suggested it might be compartment syndrome, as he's seen student players with it, who have also had the surgery. He also referred me to an Orthopedic specialist he knows who works with the Denver Nuggets players. If I opt for the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon wants to do some more testing first, consisting of inserting tiny catheter pressure gauges into the muscles before and during exercise to measure the force. The recovery isn't ideal; from what I've been able to find out, it consists of being in bed for 4 days, and then 2 weeks on crutches afterward, physical therapy, and back to "top physical performance" in 6-8 weeks.

    SO... I appreciate your guys concerns about IF I should have the surgery. And I know the procedure sounds extreme and gruesome.

    But, I'm really hoping to hear from guys who have had the procedure, or know people who have. If you're have the procedure, what was your recovery time like? Was successful in solving the problem? Etc.

    Thanks.
  • slasherOCD

    Posts: 43

    Jun 02, 2009 11:29 PM GMT

    Sorry about your pain. Before you go to surgery check out chiropractic. I know it sounds strange but there are a good number of chiros that specialize in sports injuries. Look for Chiropractic Sports Medicine Docs in your area. Its cheaper than surgery, has less recovery time and it can't hurt.


  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 03, 2009 7:10 AM GMT
    ND,
    Does the pain stay in your legs?? Does this syndrome only attack the legs??
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    Jun 27, 2009 8:16 AM GMT
    MikemikeMike saidND,
    Does the pain stay in your legs?? Does this syndrome only attack the legs??


    My pain is only in the legs. But, apparently some people can have it on the forearms.
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    Jun 27, 2009 8:19 AM GMT
    Surgery scheduled for 8/5.

    Not sure what I'm dreading more; the surgery, or being bed ridden for 2-3 days at my mom's afterward. icon_neutral.gif
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    Jun 30, 2009 8:42 PM GMT
    I had sever shin splints when I was on the track team in HS. I couldn't run the shortest of distances without sever pain. This sounds a bit like that. I never thought of getting an operation. I had to give up running on pavement though.

    I'm wondering if you couldn't cure this by take a break from your usual routine and try stretching, yoga or exercise in a pool. Also you want to stay away from hard surfaces and bad shoes. I hate work shoes and can only walk short distances and it even hurts to walk barefoot around the house but in good hiking shoes or Keens I can go on a long tough mountain hike.

    It doesn't help to worry about growing old with this pain. I've had aches and pains since 16 (shins, back (sciatic nerve), feet, knees, etc..) The pains were worse in my 30s than now because I was so worried I'd be crippled at this age. When I started telling myself that any pain I felt was minor and would eventually subside it stopped getting worse and did in fact ease up. I've also learned to switch sports, switch activities, or anything else that is necessary. Rather than commiserate over what I can't do, I'm happy for what I can. Any aging athlete has to adapt this attitude.

    Even if I were a doctor I couldn't diagnose your condition via a forum so take my advice with a grain of salt. Nevertheless I think a lot of operations are unnecessary. There is a lot to be learned about the mind/body relationship with pain and healing. Even if this operation is successful you are likely to have many other close encounters with aches and pains.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 29, 2010 12:59 AM GMT
    Hey NakedDevil. I'm sure you had the surgery by now. How did it go? How is your recovery?


    In 2006 I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my lower legs. I had felt the pain for years and years but then decided to get it checked. The pressure in the compartments in my lower leg were off the charts (some of the highest my doctor had ever seen). I had fasciatomies on two compartments in each leg. I now have a friend who had all four compartments in both legs released!!! Anyway, I was back to normal within 2-3 months and I consider the surgery a success. I still feel a little tightness and pressure but its NOTHING like what it was before the surgery. Just keep stretching the muscles out- like you would your hamstrings or quads.