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Hi, I have a leg pain in the calf region usualy after running. I went to doctor, and he diagnosed me with compartment syndrome. He said that there are two types of this condition, and that I probably have a chornic one. I need to know more about compartment syndrome. Can someone tell me a few things about it?

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Hi, compartment syndrome is a painful condition, that affects arms, hands, legs, feet and buttocks. It results when pressure inside the muscles goes to dangerous levels. There are nerves and blood vessels in these muscle groups, and their membrane doesn’t really expand, so the pressure can damage it. It is less damaging if you have chronic compartment syndrome, because it is not a medical emergency. It can be caused by exercise, which is the reason why you feel the pain after running. Acute compartment syndrome can lead to serious consequences like paralysis, loss of limb or death. Sometimes, it takes only several hours to develop. You have to avoid doing activities that cause pain and swelling, elevate the limb by applying ice and take aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
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I have had this condition for three years now in both legs and it was initially diagnosed by my consultant after increasing treadmill work at the gym to include both walking and running. This caused severe pain in my shins which didn't stop when at rest. It is excrutiatingly painful sometimes and can be quite random as to when it occurs. Usually just standing for long period etc will bring it on and it has become quite debilitating as it means no treadmill or other gym stuff, no long walks, no high heels nor flip flops etc anything that means movement in the plane of toes to shins or makes you grip with your toes. I was told that a fasciotmy operation was a possible remedy, but he is reluctant to do it as it is very scarring and unless i cannot manage day to day, he would not even consider it. I find strong co-codamol from my GP best and anti inflammatories useless. Rest and a frozen gel pack help, but mostly i have to put up with it. I guess eventually i will have to persaude him to perform the op or become more and more limited.
Am trying to find out of anyone has had any success with either a homeopathic remedy or acupuncture. Massage, sports or otherwise is a no no, so any help would be great.
Thanks
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I have been diagnosed with Chronic Compartment Syndrome, have you people been to Orothopedic Specialists about this condition? I am curious to know what the outcome was.... I have to wait a year to see one as the waiting lists are so long. Medical Care in Canada sucks, wait time for Specialists is really crazy. My condition started gradually over the past couple years and it is to the point I can't do any physical acitivity without having pain afterwards, I'm also diabetic and worry about my feet with this condition.

I have never heard of Co-Codamol could you please tell me what that is and how it helps? Right now my GP has me on Gabapentin it is a pain blocker to the brain and I seem to have no side effects.

I was to a rheumotologist yesterday and he advised me of a patient that had the operation she was very similar to myself in her condition, they opened her legs to relieve the pressure, and she is in worse condition then before the operation...........this scared the heebie geebies out of me.

Aren't you all frustrated as hell? I know I am.
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I have been diagonsed with CS (chronic) about a year ago an elected for the surgery (in the military) pretty mush i was on leave for a month couldnt barley walk for a month after about 2-3 months i could walk normal no pain. it took awhile to increase my running/walking distance. its possible .....stand to long still hurts.

i was diagonised with CS again this time (im in iraq) so electing to get suregery is alittle complcated

*temperory remedies for CS *
ice pack
toe and heel flex (bi-lat calf is what i had)
cleabrex(anti inflamatory)
elevate legs
Pain meds (i needed percs and oxycotton cause codean didnt work for me but im a big guy)
tho this one is stupid im always told it reduce activities (tho i dont know how they think i would increase my function with this pain)
laying down (not sitting...sitting tends to cramp them more) and elevate them some maybe some ice tends to help


**edited by moderator**
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Hi All-

I too was diagnosed with chronic compartment syndrome. I was misdiagnosed time and time again. I had my pressures tested and was told I had it, then I went for a second opinion, before surgery and that dr. told me not to have the surgery. That was my sophomore year in high school...I'm now a senior in college. I cannot run anymore, as it hurts too much. I have constant pain. I'm looking to find a doctor SOON to get another opinion. Sometime I lay awake at night because my leg hurts so bad. Anyone know of any good doctors in the midwest?? Would you recommend the surgery, any advice would help? Thanks!
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i actually had the surgery. they cut open about 5-6 inches down laterally on my leg and sliced open the fascia around the muscle to relieve it. It took a few months to heal from it all. I still have no feeling on that side of my leg where the scar is (but my surgen said that is because there is a nerve that runs through there and he must have nicked it???)
but you know how before your legs swell and hurt- well now my leg is "swollen" all the time. the muscle bulges out when i walk or whatever. (i knew this b4 going into surgery) But it doesnt look bad and the pain is mostly gone. my scar healed nicely and isnt very noticeable. the pain in my leg is mostly gone, however, i do still have pain in my shin every once in a while. Would i recommend the surgery? Well, i dont know. I am still not able to run again nor can i play volley ball (but i didnt have the surgery bilaterally so my other leg is still affected) I would talk to your doctor, but ya, well i guess i would, but first, try and see if you can find a chiropractor. after i had my surgery, i found this guy that can actually "massage" the fascia to loosen it. it was too late for me to try it for the amount of time needed bc i was moving, but he said it works. And sorry, but i am military and the doctor that i had is now deployed and unless you are military also, you wouldnt be able to use him. The chiropractor's name was Dr. Townsand though. He has his own practice in Waynesville mo by FLW. You could call him and he could explain more.

but i understand your pain!!!! Hope this has helped some
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hi i have this also [ i am a mail lady ] i had surgery on right leg and the nerve released also [worse now ] my surgeon will not do surgery on left leg , so i have constant pain i take morphine, darvon and lyrica daily i also have braces on both legs, i can not fins a surgeon who will see me, if dr porter could not fix me they cant [ i live in indiana] for years the doctors thought i had shin splints and it was 3 or 4 years later before anyone checked for compartment syndrome. the pain is horrible, i cant dance, ware heavy shoes [ sketchers ] they pull on my shins [ pain pain pain] my life is sitting at home mediciated i am only 46 i can only ware light shoes no heels, was told elevating legs is bad [ decrease blood flow, which is already a problem for us who have this , there are only 200,000 cases reported yearly in the nation, you also have what is called deep compartments, that might need to be released also on the inside of the legs are compartments and it is very risky to release these [ nerves] so this could be the causes of my pain and yours, but surgeons dont like to do those surgeries, and i think some surgeons think people are lying. i have doctors tell me that some surgeons think they fixed you because they hate feeling as thought they ' failed' god syndrome! so they dismiss your pain as in your head. the nerves also 'remember' pain and it could be fixed [ compartment surgery] only a nerve spec. can determine this i have class I pain syndrome also secondary to compartment syndrome and possibly cronic shin splints any surgeons want to try to fix me [ this is a owcp case, if u take that] I AM TIRED OF BEING IN CONSTANT PAIN AND TAKING MEDS. I MISS MY LIFE AND THE FUN IUSED TO HAVE . NO I AM NO ATHLETE BUT I WAS IN THE US ARMY IN THE EARLY 80;S THANKS FOR LISTENING TO ME WINE AND CRY I HOPE OTHERS HAVE A BETTER OUTCOME [ IF IT IS CAUGHT EARLY IT CAN BE TREATED] :-(
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i just went to a new doctor in columbia, Dr Vanvoorn. She tested my thyroid and my levels were EXTREMELY high. SHe tested my TPO and the antibodies along with TH3 and 4 and another one that i cant remember. Anyways, my TPO was 980 when it should have been in the 30's and my antibodies were 144 when they also should have been in the 30's. She put me on aurmor thyroid. But she told me that this could have induced my compartment syndrome and that this med shoulr help me. i have only been on it for about 2 wks now, but i do feel more energized and the pain really isnt half as bad as it was!!! i really hope this "cures" the leg pain. So you could metion it to your doc. esp if lupus, diabetes, or other thyroid probelems are in the family. there is a gene that can show up as these three different "diseases". so ya, i was happy to find this out :-P
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I was diagnosed with this condition in early 2004. It took almost a year to get the pressure studies which showed pressures in all compartments to be in the 55 - 68 range. I recieved 4 compartment fasciotomies about 2 months later. It is4 years later and I still suffer from this condition, my orthopedic specialst has stated there is nothing further he can do even though recent pressure studies still show an above normal amount. I currently take:

300 mg Lyrica
100 mg Amitriptyline
30 - 300 mg MTec a day

My current doctor has written off any chance of this condition getting better, and suggest I consider nerve blocks to relieve the pain. Has anyone else had the blocks done? Does it help?
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Hey Willie769,
I am wondering if you had more surgeries or if you did have a never block for the pain.

I have had 4 fasciotomies of the same compartment, and not the last surgery two weeks ago seems to have left me with quite a bit of nerve damage. Not sure how much nerve damage until all of the swelling is gone.

My Ortho sports medicine doctor says that it can take up to 4 releases to work.

This is my 3rd, and frankly I'm not having another one. the first two were not this bad post surgery. This post surgery is horrible. The whole top of my foot is numb and tingles and burns too.

My Ortho doctor did tell my husband we can't keep doing this. I don't understand why they can't find some way to fix this.

Mine had gotten so bad that if I got up to walk to the restroom twice I was swollen an d in pain already.

Can't sit all of my life, so I'm not sure where I go from here.
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hey! I m a player,left handed.. I had pain in mY left forearm near the elbow 2 yrs back,with raised local temperature..i have shown it to ortho dept,they did an MRI and FNSC...mri showd supinator muscle inflammation n local lymph nodes enlargement,fnsc wasnt significant..they gave me anti inflammatory and analgesics,pain was gone bt nw its troubling again..i cnt even pull a bucket f water that i used to do when i was fine!! i have difficulty in playing too,some times i have tinglings sensations,there is continues dull aching pain,n movement at elbow is noisy sometimes!!
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Hi,

I have had Compartment Syndrome in both legs since 04 and diagnosed in 06, been living with it since. When I had the testing done the sport medicine doctor said normal pressure runs 15 at rest and 30 while running and mine was at 85!!! Put it this way, I live 0.20 miles from my work and I walk there due to no free parking. It takes me 15-20 minutes and sometimes stopping once or twice and when I get into my office I have to put my legs up. They feel like two lead weights with all the burning and stinging and I am in agony. Its worse walking home since its up hill. This problem has impacted my life, since my work involves me working out in the field, and now, I have to work indoors. I didn’t spend 7 years in school to get a BS and MS in sciences, working outdoors to now be stuck inside. The odd thing is this problem was not from a sports injury, since I don’t play sports. I am a Type I Diabetic with over 25 years with this disease and now this. My doctors have never seen a diabetic with this condition who are not athletes. Because of the Diabetes, my doctors other than the Orthopedic Surgeon, are all against having the surgery since my body does not heal correctly, which can lead to more surgeries or even complications. Since the problem impacts my work, I have applied for disability and have been denied twice! I am in a rut with this problem and have heard bad outcomes from surgery regarding CS. Does anyone else out there with this similar problem have applied for disability and have been denied? Does anyone know of a doctor that has had a high success rate regarding this surgery?

Grateful for your help.
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Hi,



I too have pain for life in both deep posterior calf muscles that was misdiagnosed for 13 years and I was given pain medicine which covered it up for too long because my Dr, Alan Broom Auckland NZ thought it was pain from my childhood, a mind/body thing. So he wrote on all the specialists notes that I had "Pain Disorder due to Somatization Disorder" The more I complained the more he thought I fit that diagnosis yet he kept throwing pain meds at me that COVERED UP THE CALF COMPRESSION.

I told him one day he would be proved wrong and when I moved to Australia I was diagnosed within a year, had the fasciotomy on both legs but my surgeon said later that after 13 years of extreme pressure on the calf muscles I will have pain for life. I have had this pain since age 28 but it really came on when I was 30 fulltime and the surgery at age 39. I am now 43 and can't play cricket or rugby due to constant pain controlled by Lyrica, Diazepam and Tramal. I too MISS MY LIFE! . Not many people have nor understand this disorder :(
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i had accute CS June 2009. they left me screaming in agony in the A&E department for over 5 hours, and even took my friend aside to ask him if was a drug addict after a morphine fix, at 7am they finally did a fasciotomy on both sides of the front of my leg, each scar is about 12 inches long! i spent 4 days in with my leg open (and bandaged) while the pressure went down, then they stapled me together and sent me home..... that was it, my staples came out a week later and i recieved no aftercare!

i managed to ride horses again between september and january, but always in discomfort due to the locaion of the scar pressing on the stirrup leathers.

Early in 2010 the pain started to return, although i'm not doing any more activity than i have been, in fact probably less. i am currently taking Morphine 3 times a day, amitriptyline at night and naproxen, i am still in pain, i think a bar of chocolate has more pain reliveing effect, i've tried resting and elevating but nothing helps. the gp has no idea, and when i took myself to A&E last week i swear the surgeons "googled" it before coming in to see me.

nobody i've spoken to knows if i will improve, and i sometimes think having my leg removed would have been better!

any ideas please?
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