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Compartment Pressure Testing

Ross Medical Group

Family Medicine, Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Miami, FL

It’s normal to experience some soreness or pain during a heavy workout, but if your pain is getting progressively worse as you exercise, you may have exertional compartment syndrome. David A. Ross, MD, at Ross Medical Group in Miami is a sports medicine specialist and offers compartment pressure testing to determine if your pain is due to exertional compartment syndrome. For an examination, call the office today or book an appointment online.

Compartment Pressure Testing Q & A

What is exertional compartment syndrome?

During exercise, your muscles expand. If the tissue that encases your muscle, referred to as fascia, doesn’t expand with the muscle, you may experience pain and swelling. This condition is called exertional compartment syndrome.

Anyone can develop exertional compartment syndrome, but it’s most often seen in young athletes who engage in activities that require repetitive impact, such as running. You may also be at risk of exertional compartment syndrome if you overtrain.

What are the symptoms of exertional compartment syndrome?

Pain and swelling in the affected muscle are the most common signs of exertional compartment syndrome. Other symptoms include:

  • Tightness or numbness in the affected limb
  • Development of a muscle hernia
  • Burning or aching in the muscle
  • Weakness in the muscle

Exertional compartment syndrome often affects the leg, so you may also notice a foot drop.

With exertional compartment syndrome, you may notice a pattern to your pain. The discomfort usually begins at a certain point during your workout and gets worse as you go. Your symptoms may resolve shortly after you’ve completed your workout, but over time it may take longer for you to recover from the pain.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should contact Ross Medical Group for evaluation. Exertional compartment syndrome isn’t life-threatening, but it can affect your ability to participate in your sport or activity.

What is compartment pressure testing?

Compartment pressure testing is the gold standard test for diagnosing exertional compartment testing. During the test, Dr. Ross inserts a needle into the affected muscle that’s attached to a computer that reads the pressure within your muscle. Then, Dr. Ross has you run on a treadmill and reads the muscle pressure during activity to determine if you have exertional compartment syndrome.

What happens after compartment pressure testing?

Depending on the results of your test, Dr. Ross creates a treatment plan to help prevent your symptoms. He may suggest cross-training or low-impact activities to reduce pressure and use of the affected muscle. Dr. Ross may also recommend anti-inflammatories and orthotics to improve your discomfort.

He may also refer you to the in-house physical therapist at Ross Medical Group to develop a training program to minimize a recurrence of your exertional compartment syndrome.

In some cases, surgery, referred to as a fasciotomy, may be recommended to reduce the pressure within the muscle.

For compartment pressure testing, call the sports medicine specialist at Ross Medical Group today or request an appointment online.