Leg pain disorders

Justin Shu Yang, Thomas M. DeBerardino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Exertional leg pain can be a difficult spectrum of disorders to diagnose and treat. Medial tibial stress syndrome, tibial stress reaction, and tibial stress fractures are overuse disorders that can cause substantial time away from competition. The keys to preventing stress fracture include adequate dietary consumption of calcium and vitamin D, and other targeted interventions in at-risk populations. Nonsurgical management usually allows patients to return to their earlier activity level, although prolonged rest often is needed. Surgical intervention can be considered for a patient with a recalcitrant stress fracture or a high-risk fracture of the anterior tibia or an athlete who needs to return to sports quickly. Current diagnostic criteria for chronic exertional compartment syndrome can lead to high rates of false-positive results. Criteria using improved standardized exercise testing may have greater sensitivity and specificity. Surgical release is successful for pain relief in chronic exertional compartment syndrome but may not lead to a return to full sports activity or active military duty. Early recognition and treatment of popliteal artery syndrome is critical to a good outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrthopaedic Knowledge Update
Subtitle of host publicationSports Medicine 5
PublisherWolters Kluwer Health
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781975123314
ISBN (Print)9781975123246
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
  • Leg pain
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome
  • Popliteal artery entrapment syndrome
  • Tibial stress fracture
  • Tibial stress reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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