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Exertional lower leg pain 

Exertional lower leg pain
Exertional lower leg pain

Gurjit Bhogal

and Mark Batt

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date: 30 July 2021

Historically, patients presenting with exertional lower leg pain have been diagnosed with ‘shin splints’. The term ‘shin splints’ is non-specific, descriptive, and thus unhelpful for patient management. This chapter concentrates on three pathologies that must be understood to allow effective evaluation and management of patients presenting with exertional lower leg pain. These three pathologies are bony stress injury, medial tibial stress syndrome, and chronic exertional compartment syndrome. These three diagnoses may coexist, creating a difficult clinical picture for the assessing clinician. Exertional lower leg pain is a diagnostic challenge and thorough history taking and examination skills are vital for successful diagnosis. This chapter also reviews other potential causes of exertional lower leg pain including popliteal artery entrapment, fascial hernias, and nerve entrapments.

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