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Compartment Release -> Unending Knee Pain


I guess I'm pretty lucky that I got big calves with respect to my size, but it was causing me to get increasingly bad pain in my shins. Orthopedist said it was compartment syndrome, recommended a bilateral compartment release surgery.

  • Compartment syndrome is when a muscle pumps with blood during some activity that engages it, but the fascia around that muscle does not expand as well. Imagine blowing up a balloon half-full, then wrapping it with saran wrap, then trying to blow it all the way up. You end up with blocked blood flow and intense pain in the muscle. In my shins (specifically the anterior tibalii), I could usually see banding in the muscles where they were trying to expand but couldn't.

In 2005 I got the surgery, and instantaneously the shin pain was gone. But the doc noted post-op that I "... had some heavy bleeding on the left." Whatever the guy did or whatever happened under my skin during surgery, I was left with a new acute pain in my left knee. It is very sharp and comes irregularly when I flex that leg. Doc said some BS like, 'Give it time to heal, do some exercises to strengthen it.' Five years later I still have pain in that knee. I can't say it has gotten any less. Probably I have simply become more accustomed to it.

Anybody out there have any experience with this? I don't expect I'd be willing to go under the knife again to get whatever fixed. But maybe if I can at least identify exactly what is causing the pain, I can take a supplement, use hot/ice packs, a knee wrap or whatever to help.

Additional info: I can't find any correlation between when the pain comes and its intensity, with respect to weather, temperature, time of day, or types or intensities of exercises I'm doing, etc. I do note that when I start warming up for squats, typically the pain is there but goes away as I move into my working sets.


I would recommend an x-ray of the area. After bleeding instances like that myositis ossificans could develop (a bruise that calcifies). Or it could be something as simple as your scar tissue in your fascia didn't heal properly.


Thanks for the reply. I did some reading on the knee joint, and I'm pretty sure the pain originates from the patellar tendon. The bottom of my kneecap is tender to the touch. If I understand, it may be something other tendon or ligament underneath the patellar tendon. I probably should have also noted that I had Osgood-Schlatter syndrome as a child.

If it's scar tissue, will massage (palpation) or anything help? I found a website that suggests eccentric movements.


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