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Doctor insights on: Calf Muscle Compartment Syndrome

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Can muscle cramping in the calf cause compartment syndrome?

Can muscle cramping in the calf cause compartment syndrome?

Calf cramps: You seem to be very concerned about having a compartment syndrome in your lower legs. As a sports medicine MD, I personally suffer from Achilles tendinitis and myositis of the calf muscles and assure you most calf cramps are the benign result of overuse. Exercise induced chronic compartment syndrome is a rare but serious cause of calf pain. Please see an MD ASAP to check for compartment pressures! ...Read more

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more


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Over time does exertional compartment syndrome cause all of the compartments in the lower leg to be affected? Smaller tenser muscles?

Over time does exertional compartment syndrome cause all of the compartments in the lower leg to be affected? Smaller tenser muscles?

Not likely: The anterior compartment is the tightest, and when you're having pain there you usually stop exerting yourself, reducing the pressure there and in all the compartments. It is possible in other compartments though, and the syndrome has been described in every compartment of arms and legs. In my experience it's limited to one compartment at t time just the same. ...Read more

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Is it typical to check for compartment syndrome when a muscle hernia is found in the leg?

Is it typical to check for compartment syndrome when a muscle hernia is found in the leg?

Compartment syndrome: Compartment syndrome is typically an emergency, associated with trauma, fracture, pain and swelling in the limb. A pressure monitor device can be used to measure compartment pressures when in doubt. It required a needle inserted into your leg in several locations. Done in emergency room or hospital. ...Read more

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Is it true that quick fatigue/cramping of a muscle in the leg compared to the other leg is a symptom of compartment syndrome?

Is it true that quick fatigue/cramping of a muscle in the leg compared to the other leg is a symptom of compartment syndrome?

Maybe: Exertional compartment syndrome is characterized by reproducible aching in calf often associated with foot tingling or numbness when exercising due to swelling of the muscle in the confined area the nerves and blood vessels go thru

Measuring the pressure with a needle before and after exercise makes the diagnosis


Surgery fixes it ...Read more

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Multiple leg fasciotomies. Fascia scars shut & compartment syndrome returns. All closed imm. Stryker test high, muscle damage & cavus foot. Any ideas?

Multiple leg fasciotomies. Fascia scars shut & compartment syndrome returns. All closed imm. Stryker test high, muscle damage & cavus foot. Any ideas?

???: I'm not sure what you're asking. You have recurrent compartment syndrome? How to treat the residual effects of cavus foot? Where was the C.S.-Leg? Foot? This is too complex for 400 words. See an orthopedic surgeon trained in foot and ankle. ...Read more

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Would vascular surgeon amputate leg to stop long-term compartment syndrome pressure in leg/foot, if no ortho surgeon will release? Pain/muscle damage

Would vascular surgeon amputate leg to stop long-term compartment syndrome pressure in leg/foot, if no ortho surgeon will release? Pain/muscle damage

Yes, to reduce pain: I'm trying to understand. It seems like at least one like has had multiple interventions for compartment syndrome with resultant nerve pain in foot drop. If the leg still has pain unresolved medical therapy, or it is not of any particular used to the patient. If that leg has become a handicap to the individual resulting in further decompensate, then an amputation may be the best option ...Read more

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Calf tightness w/ swelling Achilles (and paratendon) + distended unilateral tributary over achilles. Compartment syndrome? Venous? No known injury.

Calf tightness w/ swelling Achilles (and paratendon) + distended unilateral tributary over achilles. Compartment syndrome? Venous? No known injury.

DVT: Could be many things, but you need to have an ultrasound of your leg to rule out deep vein thrombosis. These can break off and go to the lungs and be life threatening. ...Read more

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I had scotherapy for a vein malformation about two months ago. I have had extreme calf pain for a whole and we did the pressure test for exercise induced compartment syndrome. The anterior compartment was 124, than 109 than 69. The calf was 25 while sitti

I had scotherapy for a vein malformation about two months ago. I have had extreme calf pain for a whole and we did the pressure test for exercise induced compartment syndrome. The anterior compartment was 124, than 109 than 69. The calf was 25 while sitti

GO TO ER NOW: Compartmental pressure as you described will cause myonecrosis and nerve damage. Compartmental pressure measurement isn't usually a home test -it is invasive and requires calibration. I hope you don't really have such high pressure in your ant comp. The pressure you reported is more like your blood pressure. If you are having sig swelling, pain and lost of pulse - get to the er now. ...Read more

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I have a malformation on the front of my leg. I have severe pain and bruising near the calf. Exercise makes it worse and so does squeezing it. If I get the test and the test is negative and the doctor still thinks I have compartment syndrome what would he

I have a malformation on the front of my leg. I have severe pain and bruising near the calf. Exercise makes it worse and so does squeezing it. If I get the test and the test is negative and the doctor still thinks I have compartment syndrome what would he

Av malformations: Sounds like you have vascular malformation. These are variable. Come in all sizes and locations. Compartment syndrome is possible if in your leg. Okay to wait for test results. Take family member to next visit. You might be surprised at results/recommendations. Staged endovascular coils, laser, compression, surgery are possibilities. Ask questions. 2nd opinion. ...Read more

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I have a vein malformation on the front of my leg. I have no pain there. I have pain in the calf. There are severe bruising. I have severe pain and tingling and numbness. Is it compartment syndrome? What if the pressure it eat is negative but the doctor

I have a vein malformation on the front of my leg. I have no pain there. I have pain in the calf. There are severe bruising. I have severe pain and tingling and numbness. Is it compartment syndrome? What if the pressure it eat is negative but the doctor

Look for dvt: Compartment syndrome would be unlikely without trauma. The most likely thing that is very serious would be a deep vein thrombosis this could be further evaluated with ultrasound. You should make an appt to see your doctor to have this evaluated. ...Read more

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Compartment syndrome leads to ischemia. What will be the downstream effects for the associated muscles & nerves?

Compartment syndrome leads to ischemia. What will be the downstream effects for the associated muscles & nerves?

Consequences: It is a very severe and serious condition that can result in nerve and muscle damage if not treated. It results from pressure on those tissues, often from fracture or crush injury. One can get chronic pain and/or muscle weakness, resulting in a limp. Muscles may atrophy (shrink). ...Read more

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Muscle hernia following fasciotomy for chronic exertional compartment syndrome - is treatment necessary? What are risks?

Muscle hernia following fasciotomy for chronic exertional compartment syndrome - is treatment necessary? What are risks?

Depends: It depends on how large it is, whether it causes you pain, and risk of trapping other abdominal organs. Most small ones do not need repair. ...Read more

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Are there 6 or 4 compartments in the lower leg? And has anyone heard of isolated posterior tibialis compartment syndrome?

4: There are 4 compartments (anterior, lateral, superficial and deep posterior). Theoretically it's possible to have only one with increased pressure. ...Read more

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Lower LT. Leg throbs after walking short distances. Might this be indicative of compartment syndrome? D-dimer, US, ABI all negative.

Lower LT. Leg throbs after walking short distances. Might this be indicative of compartment syndrome? D-dimer, US, ABI all negative.

Leg pain: Exercise induced compartment syndrome usually only presents after very vigorous activity--like walking long distances or running over a mile. The tests you mentioned only rule out DVT (blood clot); however, they do not rule out peripheral arterial disease. I would recommend getting a test done called an ABI (Ankle Brachial Index), preferably with segmental pressures to test your blood flow. ...Read more

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Which test is better for compartment syndrome? The probe where they hold it to your leg and find the pressure or when you stick a needle in?

To stick a needle in: This procedure involves injecting some local anaesthetic into the affected area of your leg so that the pressure monitoring needle can be inserted without pain. After the anaesthetic you will either hop for 1-2 minutes, or move your foot up and down, depending on where the problem is, to build up the muscle pressure. The pressure monitoring needle will then be inserted and the pressure is measured. ...Read more

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I have compartment syndrome. I'm getting surgery and I have a couple questions. How long are you in the operating room? (hours). I'm having it on one leg and on the anterior and deep posterior compartments. What is the recovery like? Thanks in advance

I have compartment syndrome. I'm getting surgery and I have a couple questions. How long are you in the operating room? (hours). I'm having it on one leg and on the anterior and deep posterior compartments. What is the recovery like? Thanks in advance

Due to exercise: Pressure built up after exercise, usually ant comp. Is released, o r time will be brief and quick recovery with in 6 wks, one other hand trauma related, or post vascular surgery related diagnosis may be delayed, need more extensive extensive, surgery, wound will take long time to heal may take months to heal. ...Read more

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What does compartment syndrome of the leg feel like?

What does compartment syndrome of the leg feel like?

Surgical emergency: True compartment syndrome is a medical emergency! It is usually exquisitely tender, noted after a traumatic injury to an arm or leg. The affected area is very tense and firm, with absent pulses.
If there is concerned for compartment syndrome, you should be seen immediately by a doctor ...Read more

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Is it possible to have compartment syndrome in back and sides of leg near the ankle?

Is it possible to have compartment syndrome in back and sides of leg near the ankle?

Yes: Depending of the level of injury you may have compartment syndrome posterior (back) medial (inside) or lateral (outside) of your leg. ...Read more

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Can deep posterior or posterior compartment syndrome cause the posterior lower leg to look rounder than the other leg?

Possibly: compartment syndrome presents primarily as pain particularly when muscle group is placed on stretch, often neurologic symptoms are seen in conjunction with the pain. Swelling occurs and is found within the compartment increasing pressure compromising muscles blood supply causing muscle damage. Swelling of posterior calf could also be consistent with DVT if symptomatic seek care. ...Read more

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I am having surgery on my leg for compartment syndrome. How long is the surgery? I'm having surgery on the deep posterior and anterior compartments.

I am having surgery on my leg for compartment syndrome. How long is the surgery? I'm having surgery on the deep posterior and anterior compartments.

Due to exercise: Pressure built up after exercise, usually ant comp. Is released, o r time will be brief and quick recovery with in 6 wks, one other hand trauma related, or post vascular surgery related diagnosis may be delayed, need more extensive extensive, surgery, wound will take long time to heal may take months to heal. ...Read more

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Can compartment syndrome occur lower in the leg, say, nearer the ankle? Is it easy to differentiate from Achilles issues?

Compartment Syndrome: Compartment syndrome shows up as the 3Ps: pain, pulselessness, parasthesia--however, that "classic" presentation is NOT normally how we make the diagnosis. If we wait for the pulse to disappear, we're often too late. So, we look for early signs (like pain with passive motion) as a hint of compartment syndrome. If your leg hurts when someone moves the area, get examined by a doctor now. ...Read more

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Recurring compartment syndrome, 7 leg fasciotomies + 1 foot. Fluid pockets from fasciotomies causing recurrence again, consider amputation?

Recurring compartment syndrome, 7 leg fasciotomies + 1 foot. Fluid pockets from fasciotomies causing recurrence again, consider amputation?

I would tend: To want to avoid an amputation if possible. You need to get an answer as to why the problem reoccurs if fasciiotomies were already performed. Is this the same surgeon? Or is it being done by different surgeons? ...Read more

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Hi! I've recently had my surgery for compartment syndrome in lower leg. What should I do the upcoming days? Train the leg or rest it? How do I rehab?

Hi! I've recently had my surgery for compartment syndrome in lower leg. What should I do the upcoming days? Train the leg or rest it? How do I rehab?

DEPENDS: Consult your surgeon when you should start PT. Let him determine when he feels you have sufficiently healed
When he feels it's safe then toe raises on a 2.5 cm block and stretching the ankle joint with a towel around the foot and pulling it gently toward you
You will lose 30% strength due to having the fasciotomy alone ...Read more

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Almost 3 wks since bilateral lower leg fasciectomy for compartment syndrome. Fluid buildup (4 days now)-press n see it move-no redness. Need to drain?

Almost 3 wks since bilateral lower leg fasciectomy for compartment syndrome. Fluid buildup (4 days now)-press n see it move-no redness. Need to drain?

Please: Call your surgeon to revisit your issue it is not wise for us to evaluate a problem like this on line it needs a look see by the doctor ...Read more

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I'm getting surgery for compartment syndrome. They are going to release all compartments of the lower leg. They are only doin one leg. How long is the recovery? Crutches? Sports?

I'm getting surgery for compartment syndrome. They are going to release all compartments of the lower leg. They are only doin one leg. How long is the recovery? Crutches? Sports?

Not much: A few concerns: almost never necessary to release "all compartments". Exercise induced compartments syndromes are compartments specific. One would determine which compartments are the cause by doing compartment pressure measurements after exercise. Crutches until it feels good. In my experience return to sport in 4-6 weeks. ...Read more

Dr. Peter Ihle
145 Doctors shared insights

Compartment Syndrome (Definition)

A painful and dangerous condition caused by pressure buildup from internal bleeding ...Read more