Athlete compartment syndrome

I just completed sustained power build LV after SSB1 and 2. My left leg shin the day after has gone numb and is tender to touch. I got it checked it out they said athletes compartment syndrome and over worked the muscle and should not train so hard. Did I push myself too much doing those Supra threshold workouts and long threshold 4x15 or a bike fit issue. Has anyone has this issue before?

Compartment syndrome ended my running career (in my mid 40s) - if you’ve tried running on it you’ll understand why (you can’t for weeks, the impact is too painful). It was the trigger that caused me to switch to cycling, even with the injury you can still do light recovery training. Unfortunately if my experience is anything to go by, if you’re prone to it, it will recur regularly (I suspect that the scar tissue doesn’t help). I also suspect that it is far more widespread in cyclists but because you can generally continue it doesn’t get the same profile as it does with runners. You can manage it to some extent with proper hydration at all times, warm ups (I use a roller to warm up the calf muscle) and deep tissue massage and various techniques can break down the scar tissue. I also found flights were a trigger. However, as a cyclist it is far less debilitating, spin don’t grind and reduce the intensity if you do have an issue. Have a look at this https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a26944449/calf-heart-attacks-in-runners/

I have/do have this type of injury. I actually injured myself running. As I understand it my shin muscle would become engorged with blood as I started to run and eventually a nodule of muscle poked through the sheath that the muscle runs in. This was 20 years ago but when I put weight on my foot and bend my knee as far forward as possible a pea sized lump still appears.
I rested from running for a while and when I restarted running I was very careful to warmup slowly before maximimal efforts. At the time surgery was available which slit the sheath allowing the muscle to expand more easily.
I hope this helps.

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I had chronic exercise induced compartment syndrome in both anterior compartments (shins). I had it from as early as I could remember until I had surgery to fix it at age 31, in 2003.

Growing up, I was always told by coaches etc. that I had “shin splints”. I couldn’t run, at any speed, for more than ~4 minutes, when my shins would become insanely painful and I would lose the ability to raise my toes. Everyone told me to “just run thru it!”, but that was absolutely not possible. Eventually I just self-selected into activities that did not require running (e.g. cycling and long-distance hiking).

Fast forward to 2003, and I was dating a woman who was a triathlete. I wanted to do triathlons but once again the running was impossible. Some research led me to suspect I had a compartment syndrome, which was confirmed by a sports orthopedist. I ended up going under the knife to have fasciotomies (the procedure mentioned by Michael_Brooks), which fixed the problem for good. As spchaplin27 mentioned, if you are prone to it, it will recur regularly. Your muscles simply don’t have enough room to swell during exercise because they are trapped by fascia.

If it continues, I would recommend finding a good sports orthopedist and have them do a pressure test, which is one of the most uncomfortable things around… They stick a huge needle into your shin, then have you exercise until the symptoms appears, then they read the pressure in the muscle. At least that’s what they did with me in 2003. The test was terrible, but gave a clear diagnosis. The good news is that the surgery is a reliable fix. I was happy to finally be able to run after my surgery.

Good luck to you. Hopefully this was a one-off for you!

For what it is worth, pain the day after seems odd for a compartment syndrome. Everything I read about with compartment syndromes in athletes was more acute. I’m not a doctor, so obviously don’t take my word for it :-).

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Thanks for the reply. Yes my case does not seems nearly as bad, the whole front of the left leg going numb seems very unusual and tender to touch. After 2 days it has subsided a fair bit. I’ve never had this before just maybe light strain. Is this likely a one off I wonder. Seems like it might be but was very concerning to feel that!