Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 96 - 100

Research article
Pre, during, and post exercise anterior tibial compartment pressures in long distance runners
Panagiotis Baltopoulos , Eugenia Papadakou, Maria Tsironi, Panagiotis Karagounis, George Prionas
Author Information
Department of Functional Anatomy & Sports Medicine, University of Athens, Greece

Panagiotis Baltopoulos
‚úČ Department of Functional Anatomy & Sports Medicine, University of Athens, Greece
Publish Date
Received: 06-08-2007
Accepted: 11-12-2007
Published (online): 01-03-2008
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The aim of the study was to assess pre, during, and postexercise compartment pressures in the anterior tibial compartment in asymptomatic long distance runners (5000 m) and recreational athletes. Forty-eight participants (n = 48, 24 females and 24 males) underwent the experimental procedures. The participants were assigned into 4 groups of 12 volunteers. Intracompartmental pressures measurements were recorded 1 minute before, at the 1st minute after the onset of exercise, and finally 5 minutes after the completion of the exercise on treadmill. The wick catheter technique was the method of choice for measuring intracompartmental pressure values. Post hoc analysis of the groups by measures interaction indicated that all pairwise comparisons among pre-test (1 minute before exercise), during-test (1st minute during exercise), and post-test measures (5 minutes after exercise) were statistically significant for male controls (p < .001), male athletes (p < .001), female controls (p < .001) and female athletes (p < .001). The results confirm the correlation between long distance runners and the increased risk of chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) development.

Key words: Compartment syndrome, athletes, wick catheter, intracompartmental pressures, runners

           Key Points
  • Compartment syndrome is a condition characterised by increased intracompartmental pressures within inelastic fascia which surrounds muscular compartments
  • Initial CECS symptomatology is not clear and increases gradually
  • All the study participants presented the lowest intra-compartment pressure values one minute before the beginning of exercise (at rest) with the highest value being recorded at the first minute of exercise.
  • Control population had lower intra-compartment pressure than professional runners.
  • One minute after the beginning of exercise control and athlete men group showed higher intra-compartment pressure than control and athlete women group, indicating a probable sex difference both for athletes and controls.
  • Further studies on predisposing factors of CECS, such as increased intracompartmental pressure values in asymptomatic population is needed to establish the diagnosis in a proper time.
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