T Nation

Exercise Induced Compartment Syndrome


#1

So I've had a large amount of pain when running for around a year and finally got it checked out after I did everything I personally could do to attempt to fix it. Turns out it's EIC. My pressures pre exercise were in the in the high teens, and post exercise (only a mile and a half run) my anterior pressure led the charge at 92. I'm 99% sure I'll have the fascia removed surgically and was just wondering if anyone had any advice for pre procedure, rehab, etc..


#2

i had traumatic compartment syndrome and my knowledge of exercised induced compartment syndrome is severely limited...

is the idea...

that there is fascia (a skin-like membrane) that divides muscles into different compartments... and that sometimes the pressure gets raised inside. like the tissue starts to swell and the compartment sort of kind of threatens to burst?

in my case (from trauma) there was a lot of inflammation and swelling inside the compartment. i had fasciotomy - they cut open along the inside of the arch in my foot - to give the tissue a couple days for the swelling to reduce. apparently if they hadn't have opened it up then some of the cells / nerves would have started to die. then they sewed it back up - and i was very lucky not to need a skin graft to get the wound closed.

is the idea that in your case running causes inflammation / swelling... inside fascia running up the front of your calf? peronals or something?? so the idea is to remove part of the fascia so the pressure won't build up inside anymore (nothing hurts like compartment syndrome, you have my sympathy for that)?

have you tried foam rolling / soft tissue release? what i've read about it... not many studies have been done... people aren't quite sure what it does / how it works / why it works. i don't know whether studies have been done on whether it helps to alleviate / reduce / eliminate exercise induced compartment syndrome... if it does work by stretching the fascia then might be worth a try before resorting to surgical intervention, though. don't be surprised if your surgeons haven't heard of it...


#3

Sorry for not responding earlier than now. I compare EIC to a pump when you lift, except that the blood isn't allowed to go anywhere because the fascia is wrapped too tightly around the muscle. In my case it's brought on by running and occurs on the outside of my legs around the calf, but I believe it can actually happen in the forearms (not for sure on this).

I had the fasciotomy last wednesday and even though the pressure was elevated in all 4 compartments, they didn't relieve it in all 4. I'm hoping that doesn't come back to bite me in the ass lol They did the right leg, and in 4 weeks after it's healed they'll do the left. EIC sucks. It goes away after you've stopped the movement that causes it, but during it blows. If you try to push through it, you eventually aren't able to move your foot up and down, and the outside of my legs became hard as rocks.


#4

I have exercise induced compartment syndrome. A few guys that I used to work with had it as well (military SOF)

I never had the surgery because the surgeon told me straight up that it was a less than 50/50 chance that it would help. I've talked with 6 different people who had the surgery (some had the release more than one time) and only one of them actually had their issues resolved by doing the facial release surgery.

hopefully your's works out for you and you're pain is gone. good luck.


#5

Wow, thank you for your service. I'm a sophomore in college and Army ROTC, obviously not anything compared to SF, but that's the reason I'm trying to get this corrected. Can I ask how you dealt with it? I'm pretty good with pain, but I just can't bring myself to keep running once it really starts.


#6

Pretty much I just dont run anymore. At one point I was doing physical therapy 5 days a week for at least an hour and it was manageable but then I deployed again and it came right back since I wasnt able to do PT.

So yeah right now I just cant really run anything longer than a mile without it becoming an issue. I just get my cardio from other activities. Hopefully it works out for you.


#7

I would strongly recommend checking into Active Release Techniques (ART). Many soft tissue and biomechanics problems can be corrected without surgeries, even some cases like what you are discussing. I know myself and at least on TN writer are ART providers. I work with many endurance athletes on compartment issues that have been referred for surgery. Currently, I'm sitting around 80% success rate with them.
The idea of cutting fascia to restore function rarely seems like a good idea to me. You can't cut into the body without leaving scar tissue, which can anchor to the same tissues that were just 'released'.


#8

Well, I've already had my right leg done. I'm in Oklahoma, know anyone that I could talk to?


#9

I found that there are quite a few ART providers in Oklahoma. From what I'd read on the web before this today, everything I'd heard on the surgery made it sound like it was a definitive solution. Can you add some insight as to whether you've had patients have the surgery and what their results were? Thanks in advance.


#10

have you tried foam rolling / soft tissue release? what i've read about it... not many studies have been done... people aren't quite sure what it does / how it works / why it works. i don't know whether studies have been done on whether it helps to alleviate / reduce / eliminate exercise induced compartment syndrome... if it does work by stretching the fascia then might be worth a try before resorting to surgical intervention, though. don't be surprised if your surgeons haven't heard of it...

aka: DIY ART


#11

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#12

you don't reckon you can stretch it with soft tissue work??


#13

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.