Three Signs Of Anterior Compartment Syndrome
Learn about three signs of anterior compartment syndrome. Anterior Compartment Syndrome is a serious condition often confused with lesser running injuries. It is important to know the signs of Anterior compartment syndrome because you don't want to be misdiagnosed with a condition like "shin splints." Anterior compartment syndrome can lead to long term damage if not treated. Anterior compartment syndrome occurs in the lower leg shin area. If you have anterior compartment syndrome, it means that the blood supply has essentially been cut off. You will experience three warning signs such as swelling, pain and change in sensation.
- Swelling. In anterior compartment syndrome from running, the overuse of the tendon causes inflammation. The inflammation "compresses" the surrounding muscles and tendons which decreases blood flow to individual muscles. Specifically, the fascia (a tight muscle around the shin) becomes swollen and cannot expand anymore. Some individuals have naturally tighter fascias, which makes them more susceptible to anterior compartment syndrome.
- Pain. Pain is one symptom that makes anterior compartment syndrome difficult to diagnose. Shin splints and stress fractures can also be very painful. The pain in anterior compartment syndrome is a result of lack of oxygen rather than a a brake. Pain from anterior compartment syndrome will be felt over the shin and possibly down into the feet. The major difference between anterior compartment syndrome and other running injuries is that the pain will not be as localized in anterior compartment syndrome.
- Loss of sensation. A major sign of anterior compartment syndrome is a change in or loss of sensation. This indicates nerve involvement, which is not present in shin splints. You might feel a tingling or "pins and needles" sensation in your lower leg. If you are having a loss of sensation in your lower leg, you should seek medical attention immediately. Permanent nerve damage can occur is anterior compartment syndrome is not treated. In severe cases, surgery is required.