A review of chronic exertional compartment syndrome in the lower leg

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Mar;32(3 Suppl):S4-10. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200003001-00002.


Chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) in the lower leg has been described as early as 1956. This review describes the five relevant anatomical compartments and the important clinical features on presentation used in diagnosis. Compartment pressure testing using various types of catheter is useful as a confirmatory investigation. Although the pathophysiology of this condition is poorly understood, current hypotheses are discussed. Surgical treatment is usually definitive and techniques for decompression of the five compartments are presented with comparison to available conservative treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Compartment Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Anterior Compartment Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Anterior Compartment Syndrome / surgery*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg*
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome