An overview of exertional leg pain in the athlete (2024)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Crooks S.A.; *Paavana T.; *Heaver C.

Orthopaedics and Trauma. 38(1) (pp 56-64), 2024. Date of Publication: February 2024.

Exertional leg pain is a common problem in the athletic population, presenting with a constellation of similar symptoms. Delayed or incorrect diagnosis and treatment may result in significant morbidity and avoidable cessation of activity. Multiple causes such as chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS), medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), nerve or vascular entrapment syndromes may be responsible. A thorough history and focused clinical examination is mandated, and may yield clues as to the definitive diagnosis. Investigative adjuncts include imaging, compartment pressure measurement and electrodiagnostic studies. Whilst specific management depends on the underlying cause, the mainstay of initial management is activity modification, with surgery reserved for those who fail to respond to conservative measures.