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fellow forum users, i have an issue.

I have been running for 4 years now. about a year into it i got shin splints. then again about 2 years ago while running on concrete. I've recovered from these and pressed on. my issue comes in to play about a year ago. i got shin splints and they have never completely healed. they occur half way up from my knee and ankle, about 2-3 inches, on the inside of my tibia. this is on both legs. the fixes i have been given were ibuprofen 3 times a day. and to not run for the following 2 months. i've tried this remedy 4 times now, and the general outcome follows. i would get on the track and run 1/2 lap, walk 1/4. i would do this maybe 3 times and the injury would begin reaggrevating itself. this happened after each of these 2 month breaks. i'm not running fast either, maybe at a 9:00-10:00 pace while running. i went back to the doctor again and this time given more ibuprofen and told to not run for 5 months now. it has been about a year since i have been able to run without complications. what could this be? the doctor said it may be compartment syndrome. how would this be tested for? i've researched some, and the images i've seen dont look like a happy surgery. do you think this would be shin splints, compartment syndrome, or maybe something else? what reccomendations might you have for me? i want my legs to stop breaking on me, i want to run! thank you for your time...

-Will

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:wavey: Hi there. I have been battling this same thing off n on for 2 years. :? Not sure what it is either. Mine comes on and gets worse till I can't take it then I take 3 months off, no running, before gradually coming back like you said. Then everything is good for 3 or 4 months then again it returns. My latest episode didn't seem to last as long though. The only thing I've done different is incorporate cycling into my training. :? I think I'm balancing out my leg muscles more now. Could this be the answer? We shall see. Good luck to ya.
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Hey Texnguy, I'm in Texas too! Welcome to the boards.

I'm sorry to hear about your recurring shin woes. I've had shin splints before, I know the pain you're suffering through! I am not really sure what is going on. I don't know about it being compartment syndrome. Obviously your doctor will know best, but...(and I'm not entirely sure here, so bear with me) I think compartment syndrome is or can be a rare complication of a bone fracture or post orthopedic surgery where due to the trauma, the muscle sheath doesn't allow for swelling (in the case of trauma) or, I guess what your doctor is suspecting, growth in the case of exercise. The solution is to go in and cut the muscle sheath as you've read, which I know nothing about and after that I'm not sure what happens as far as mobility, etc, but my guess is its not a real happy or fast experience. I am probably missing the mark here on exactly what the disease is (anyone feel free to jump in and correct me...I can check some books), but thats my basic understanding, and also why I think you may actually be dealing with some complicated shin splits due to some muscle imbalances in your lower leg. I say this based on the fact that you seem to have heeled in your rest periods. And given your rest periods, I'm assuming they aren't stress fractures (have you had xrays?) because I think they would have healed too, as I think it takes typically 6 weeks. But I'm not sure. I'm not the resident expert on shin splints, and I'm also not your doctor, so again, take my (and all of our) advice with a grain of salt. But. I think maybe the 2 month rest periods are too much possibly, in that when you rebound you've actually lost most of your training, but you may rebound (like many of us do after a long winter's rest) at a swifter rate than you should? Although I did read where you said you were doing a slower pace and run walk breaks, but perhaps its still not quite slow enough. On your 2 month rest periods, are you walking for exercise at all? If so, pain? Any other exercise done in the place of running? And when you are returning, are you wearing new shoes? These are basic things that you may already have thought of, but I'm just trying to cover all the bases. More thoughts, what ibuprofen schedule were you given? and did you follow it? Is your doctor a runner? Have you seen more than one doctor? Would you consider a chiropractor?

So, my blind recommendation is: google for shin splint remedies, see if you can find some strengthening exercises that may help, some icing methods or stretches. All of those combined and done regularly could be the solution you need up front. I also believe there are some goofy looking socks out there that are supposed to help when you sleep in them? (I think jrjo knows about this...) get some great new shoes with some solid cushioning appropriate for your gait and your foot (if in Austin, go to Runtex, if in DFW area or Houston try Luke's Locker) and then start back out there with ONLY walking for a week or 2. Or more. Not even "power" walking with a huge heart rate, just walking to get your shins used to what they are about to go through, then pick up the pace as appropriate. Then after that, if no shin pain, proceed with the run walk intervals and see what happens. And when you start back, even with the walking, choose your surface very carefully (ie, stick with the treadmill or a trail, avoid concrete!)
Good luck to you and welcome again. (and sorry for such a long answer!)

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Also, read up here. Follow all of Jrjo's linking links too, there is good information out there.

http://runningforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=36330

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So far while this is going on, i walk 2-3 times a week with my puppy for about 1-3/4 mile. i would do it more, but i'm in school until 10pm 2 nights of the week, and doing homework otherwise. also, for 2 months i abandoned outside work all together and jumped on the eliptical machine for an hour a night, 5 nights a week. sweat like crazy. my legs dont aggrevate me at all while doing this, for the most part. about 45 minutes into it my toes start to go to sleep. what the heck could this be? i jush keep on truckin' until i hit the 1 hour mark. i am going to try to take up swimming a few days a week now, and see how that affects me. the doctor had me on a 3-daily schedule for the ibuprophen, i stuck to it for about 3 months. then he put me on something i cant even spell out, but it is a once-a-day thing. the doctor is not a runner, and i have seen 2 so far. the issue here is that i am one of the people runners hate. i'm in the military =) military doctors basically so as little as possible to make people shut up for the time being. i'm trying to get them to refer me outside for help (they will pay for it if they do). Does anyone have a store in San Antonio i could check out? what would i ask them when i hop in there? long replies are perfectly fine, gives me more indepth insights on what people know, and actually comforts me to know they are trying ot help others.
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I feel like I was reading my own experience there. I had the exact pain in the exact places. I'm a soccer player and the intense "shin splint" pain for 4 years made me eventually have to sit out. I tried the pain meds, the orthodics, the therapy for years, wearing ankle braces all day, nothing worked. I was finally tested for compartment syndrome and found positive. It was a really easy test, not the most fun but relatively easy. The doctor draws a circle on your compartment of pain and numbs it, he then sticks a catheter into it which looks so scary but you only feel pressure. The doctor tests your pressure in the legs before and after exercise. If your pressure is 30 or above you are a good candidate for surgery.

Compartment syndrome is just when your fascia doesn't expand with the blood flow that comes during exercise. So during the Fasciotomy they cut that tight layer and releases the tension. It took me about 4 months to get running again through therapy 3 times a week. The rehab period is extremely frustrating because it's like learning to walk again.

I got the surgery, and for about half a year had a period of relief but once i returned to my normal level of activity(5 days a week soccer practices) all of my symptoms came back. I am researching this syndrome for a college paper right now and it seems like those results are becoming more and more common. Apparently the reason for this is scar tissue that ends up causing just as much pressure as the fascia was. Talk to your doctor about all of this before the surgery, I heard there is a way to do something with the skin so that you don't get scar tissue like that. The surgery does help a little, but I eventually had to completely quit soccer from the returning pain. Everyone is different though, it could work for you. I'd recommend looking into it still. Good luck with the leg pain.
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Hey Will and others in the thread,

How is your compartment syndrome now? What methods have you used for treatment / relief of the compartment syndrome (if other than any mentioned so far in the previous posts)?
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