Problems We Treat

Leg Pain

When people engage in sporting or other physical activities, they may experience pain or cramps in the legs. The pain experienced in such a case is called exertional compartment syndrome and may make the patient reduce the action or stop it entirely.

The pain is experienced in the front compartment of the lower part of the leg. People taking part in sporting activities like riding and swimming that require repetitive leg movements run the greatest risk of suffering from this problem.

Causes of the pain

Muscles in the legs are grouped in compartments made of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels which are bound together by a thick covering called fascia. The fascia is inelastic and extreme exertion, pressure builds within the compartment which constricts the flow of blood and hence the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells. The lack of oxygen and nutrients may lead to the damage of the cells.


Exertional compartment syndrome can be treated using both surgical and nonsurgical methods. Physicians result to surgery if other methods fail to relieve the pain or improve movement for the patient. The surgical procedure is called fasciotomy and involves cutting open the fascia to release the pressure and provide more room for the tissue in the compartment. Patients recovering from fasciotomy require rehabilitation treatment which includes exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve motion. Patients recovering from fasciotomy should avoid walking or standing for too long.