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Symptoms, diagnosis and causes of shin splint

Symptoms, diagnosis and causes of shin splint

Symptoms, diagnosis and causes of shin splint

Symptoms, diagnosis and causes of shin splint

Consultation and assessment

‘Shin splints’ also known as ‘Medial tibial stress syndrome’, is a condition which results from injury to the lower front part of the leg. This usually occurs in athletes or sportspersons. It is also seen in military personnel who perform strenuous exercises. It is characterised by sudden severe pain in the front of leg accompanied with difficulty in walking. The lower leg has two main bones namely tibia and fibula. This condition arises when the muscles or other tissue surrounding the tibial bones get injured.

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Incidence, age and sex

‘Shin Splints’ is found commonly in athletes and military personnel. Its incidence is more in men as compared with women. Individuals having lower limb deformities like flat foot are more prone to acquire this disorder.

Signs,symptoms and diagnosis

The primary symptom of shin splints is intense pain in front of leg. The affected individual may be unable to walk or put even the slightest pressure on the leg. There is pain on the anterior portion of the lower leg, a few centimetres below the knee joint. The affected individual may give a history of sudden change in activities which may have led to this pain. There may be hairline fracture of the bones, too.

The diagnosis is established by history and clinical examination of the patient, by an experienced physician. MRI or CT scan may show inflammation or tear of the tendon of the muscles in that region.

Causes and prevention

The cause of shin splints is undue or excessive stress on the front of leg. Sudden stress to the muscles and tissue of the lower leg may lead to their injuries or tears, thereby causing inflammation and pain. When non-athletes start running or exercising, or there is change of intensity of exercise like increasing mileage, then there is sudden increase of stress on these tissues, leading to an injury. In people with flat feet there is more stretching of the muscles of the shin, which leads to injury easily.

Shin splints may be prevented by avoiding sudden and excessive stress on the lower legs. It is advisable to avoid sudden, strenuous exercises. Gradual increase of exercise duration and intensity may help prevent severe injuries. If at all pain arises, then taking breaks in between the activities will prevent further damage.

Complications

Shin splints may lead to severe pain and inability to walk. With severe pain, the patient may have to stop the workout completely.

Submit a request for further information, a quotation or indicative cost. Your enquiry will be forwarded to up to 3 private healthcare providers. They will respond directly with further information.

Get a quote for shin splint treatment >

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