Compartment sysndrome pressure studies

I haven't been able to run since Dec 06 because of crushing burning pains in my shins (no, not shin splints, I've had those). Physio referred me (via GP) to orthopaedic surgeon. All feel sure this is compartment syndrome. Saw ortho in July and had a call yesterday to say I need to organise pressure studies (as not done on NHS). They have given me a place to contact "Where we send all the athletes".
I feel so stupid: I am definitely not an athlete andI feel really embarassed about going. However, given that this is the only way to start the road to returning to running I feel I should go through with it.
Any tips on how to not feel a twit when I get there?


  • Just for info normally run anything between 5k and marathon distance.
  • Hi Jiggi. I've had long periods of time without running too. Given that you refuse to give up, I guess running is also pretty important to you.

    And I think that's the key; look upon this as a great opportunity; think what you could gain. What the other folk might think (if they're thinking about anything other than their own injuries!) is of little consequence compared with what you could get out of it.

    And if you don't want to look a twit when you get there, don't Push any doors marked Pull!

    Good luck.
  • Good advice! Thanks C
  • You run (or used to!) ergo you're an athlete.
  • Hi Jiggi, I had anterior compartment syndrome back in 1998 and had to also go for these pressure studies and like you was worried but believe me dont even think of looking like a twit as the results this test will give you about your compartments will really make all the feelings worthwhile - following the studies I had the surgery :
    surgical treatment known as a fasciotomy to allow the pressure to return to normal.
    Todate nearly 10years on I hve never had another shin pain - I've had lots of other injuries but none shin related!
    Best of luck.
  • Treiziste, Thank you.  I just feel very unfit currently.

    Muriel, I am so glad you got your compartment syndrome sorted out.  I hope you won't mind if I ask about it. What is involved in the studies?  How long do they take?How major was your surgery? 

    So many questions!!!!!

    Thanks, Jiggi 

  • No problem, the studies involved some needles put in the compartment which for me was my anterior compartment (front of both of my legs - these needles were left in while I ran on a threadmill to see how when I exercised the pressures insides the compartments rise and to see to what actual extent this pressure was - that was 10 years ago so there may be simpler ways of doing this study now.  The surgery involved a slit made down the front of both compartments where the fascia around the muscle was enlarged to allow the muscle to expand further and therefore take the pressure off the shins - that is it in basic language. The pressures in my compartments were very high which is a reason I had to have the surgery as there as a danger of the compartment swelling during running to the point I would loose blood supply to my feet.  You will see some more explanation on this site:

    Best of luck let me know how you get one.


  • Thanks for this.  I rang to arrange to have the pressure studies done. Apparently they aren't available on the NHS so I've got to find £400.  Feel a bit depressed by this, to be honest.

  • OH I am sorry to hear that, as far as I can remember mine were covered under my private health insurance which I pay annually I dont actually remember having to pay but earlier this year when I twisted my ankle very badly on a cross country run and pulled the nerves leading into my ankle I had to come up with 380euro for a special scan to see what nerves were effected etc and only for that I would have have been able to return to run - the morale of the story is - if the £400 is the means to the end of you getting back running, which is what you love I am sure, I promise it will be worth every penny.  But  I do understand it is alot of money.

  • Thanks Muriel.   I really want to run again, so I'm checking all the sofas for loose change!!

    Will keep you posted.


  • I posted a thread a while ago entitled 'Mysterious Cramping Calf Syndrome' after being plagued with claf problems where they would just 'lock up' at varying distances into an event.

    To cut a very very long story short(ish), my coah kept pestering me to try those long socks worn by Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey, Tim Benjamin et al....

    When my calfs were particularly prone to going, (about a minute into any run), I ventured into the gym at work and made sure I was alone. Pulled my socks up and wound the treadmill up, just so I could say I had tried them and eliminated them.

    Unbelievably, ran for 20 minutes and was running at 16kph come the end without a single spasm, tweak or minor panic.

    All I can say is, the proofs in the pudding. (Whatever that actually means)!

    And... the only people that have ever commented on my new look, are fellow track athletes who are also wearing the socks and have noticed a difference.

    No, I'm not on commission!

    Hope that helps. 

  • Plod Thanks, I might just give them a go. Where do you get them from?
  • I was fortunate enough to be given a pair free by a mate who owns 'Irinbridge Runner' in Exeter 2 years ago when nobody wanted to buy them. I chucked them in my drawer and never wore them until that fatefull day in the gym.

    I have since bought a pair of 'Linebreak' socks which were absolutely rubbish. They were £30 a pair (cheaper online), and I couldn't actually get the 'Large' pair on. They have a stirrup foot the same as Ron Hill Tracksters and I couldn't get my foot around the tight curved bottom. (Even my wife couldn't get them on easily - so it wasn't as if I have perculiar feet). I swopped them for a extra large size, which I got on okay, but they kept falling down and this defeated the object somewhat. They give a guide size using calf circumference which meant the extra large should have done the job, but the didn't.

    I have just googled 'compression sports socks' and if you go to you'll see something very similar to what I am wearing.

    Whilst i was in town today, I bought a pair of black 'flight socks' ready for the cross country season. They seem to be much the same but were only £7 but I have yet to field test them.

    I raced an 800m last tuesday and there were about 5 others wearing these long socks. They are definately on the increase and one bloke I spoke to said it had made a huge difference to his post race recovery.

    Good luck,


  • Thanks Plod, I'll get googling!
  • Be aware that compression is not considered a suitable treatment for compartment syndrome - that just increases the pressure inside the compartment.
  • Eeek!  Thanks Slug
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