[Chronic exertional compartment syndrome].

Eyal Rom*, Shay Tenenbaum, Ofir Chechick, Gideon Burstein, Yehuda Amit, Ran Thein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an uncommon phenomenon first reported in the mid 50's. This condition is characterized by sharp pain during physical activity, causing reduction in activity frequency or intensity and even abstention. This syndrome is caused by elevation of the intra-compartmental pressure which leads to decreased tissue perfusion, thus ischemic damage to the tissue ensues. Chronic exertional syndrome is usually related to repetitive physical activity, usually in young people and athletes. The physical activity performed by the patient causes a rise in intra-compartmental pressure and thereby causes pain. The patient discontinues the activity and the pain subsides within minutes of rest. Chronic exertional syndrome is reported to occur in the thigh, shoulder, arm, hand, foot and gluteal region, but most commonly in the leg, especially the anterior compartment. The diagnosis of chronic exertional syndrome is primarily based on patients' medical history, supported by intramuscular pressure measurement of the specific compartment involved. Treatment of chronic exertional syndrome, especially the anterior and lateral compartment of the leg is mainly by surgery i.e. fasciotomy. If the patient is reluctant to undergo a surgical procedure, the conservative treatment is based on abstention from the offending activity, changing footwear or using arch support. However, the conservative approach is not as successful as surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-611, 623, 622
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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