A 34-year-old female athlete experienced pain, tightness, and sensation changes to her lower legs and feet when reaching approximately one mile of her run. After a wick catheter test, an orthopedic surgeon diagnosed her with chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) and declared her eligible to receive a fasciotomy surgery.
It is theorized that a forefoot gait can delay symptom onset of CECS and decrease the amount of discomfort the runner experiences. The patient opted to try a 6 week gait retraining program to try to alleviate symptoms nonsurgically. The purpose of this study is to provide education of the contributing factors of CECS and to determine if gait retraining is an effective alternative to invasive surgery.
After six weeks of gait retraining, the patient was able to run without experiencing any CECS symptoms. She also had reduced compartment pressures leading the surgeon to no longer recommend her for a fasciotomy.