Intramuscular compartment pressure measured beyond 5 minutes of exercise and completed to maximal tolerable pain added significant diagnostic value over existing techniques in patients with chronic exertional compartment syndrome of the anterior compartment, according to researchers.
The researchers measured intramuscular compartment pressure (IMCP) continuously before, during and after 20 men with symptoms of chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) of the anterior compartment and 20 asymptomatic controls exercised on a treadmill. All participants wore identical footwear and carried a 15-kg load.
As the study progressed, results showed an increase in pain experienced by the participants, with significantly different pain levels experienced by participants with CECS during each phase of exercise.
Compared with the control group, patients with CECS experienced higher IMCP immediately when standing at rest. The researchers found the relationship persisted throughout the course of the entire exercise protocol, with the greatest differences corresponding to the period of maximal tolerable pain.
Using this measurement demonstrated improved diagnostic value and consistently higher sensitivity and specificity vs. existing criteria, according to the researchers. – by Casey Tingle
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.