Anterior Compartment Syndrome

What is anterior compartment syndrome?

Our muscles are surrounded by a protective sheath, this protective sheath will form a closed space called a compartment.

Anterior compartment syndrome happens when our muscles swell and becomes too big for the sheath. This will cause pain to the lower leg.

Symptoms of anterior compartment syndrome

The main symptoms of anterior compartment syndrome are:

  • Aching in the lower leg
  • Tightness in the lower leg
Anterior compartment syndrome may also be caused by acute injury to your leg. If ignore, the muscles and nerves in your leg may be wasted due to lack of oxygen.
Symptoms of acute anterior compartment syndrome include:
  • severe pain when you move your leg
  • swelling of your leg
  • pain in the leg when you move your toes

Causes of anterior compartment syndrome

Anterior compartment syndrome is caused by the expansion of your leg muscle when you exercise. The muscles are expanding but there is not enough space to expand and causes stress and pain to your leg. You have a higher risk of getting anterior compartment syndrome is you are a cyclist or runner.

Acute compartment syndrome can also happen after a serious leg injury. This happens if there is a fracture or a crushing injury. The pressure on the muscle is intense after the injury.

Treatment of anterior compartment syndrome

Rest until the symptoms improved.

Physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen your muscles.

Speak to our sports and orthopaedic specialist today if you have symptoms of acute anterior compartment syndrome.

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