Compartment Syndrome

This is a name given to a condition where individuals develop raised pressure amongst the muscular compartments of the foot or leg (these may also develop in other parts of the body). This occurs because the muscles, nerves, blood vessels and other structures of the body are bound in layers of soft tissue and are separated from each other (compartmentalized). When an injury is elicited, or swelling occurs due to chronic overuse or other applied stresses, the bound soft tissue does not expand and therefore pressure is raised in the compartment.

Medial compartment syndrome is very common in the leg and may cause 'posterior shin splints'. Posterior shin splints are the most common complaint podiatrists encounter in athletic patients. Risk of developing this condition increases with intense exercise on hard surfaces with uncorrected pronated feet.

Your podiatrist can help you manage the pain by decreasing stress on the involved muscles, issuing orthotics that will make sure your foot posture is corrected, and providing advice. It is important to get any pain in the leg evaluated by a podiatrist as compartment syndrome can lead to damage to blood vessels and nerves in the affected areas