Anterior Compartment Syndrome - Is Surgery the Only Option?

I just started working with a female soccer player who had been diagnosed with Anterior Compartment Syndrome. She says that she has exhausted all other options and had multiple medical opinions - and the conclusion is that surgery is the only option. Have any others out there had success with different therapies?

Her symptoms include lower leg pain and significant numbness in the lower legs and feet during practices and games. The condition occurs with both legs.

I’ve heard that the fasciotomy has a relatively long recovery period, with the athlete never really returning to their previous (pre-op) strength (elastic strength) levels.

Any help would be appreciated.

Surgery is generally the last option for ACS.

But if all the other possibilities - particularly (1) muscle imbalance and (2)lack of flexibility have been tried - surgery may be the final ‘choice’.

But as far as I know (I am open to contradiction here) return to full fitness IS very much possible after a LONG recovery period though - possibly as long as 3 months BEFORE running starts again.

[I’m certain that 3 months could be reduced greatly though with proper prehab before the op and a dedicated post op program]

[I’m only going on theoretical and anecdotal evidence though …]

As I recall, one of the main issues for success was the full splitting of the “sheath” so it doesn’t have to be repeated later.

Over a year ago i did an extensive search regarding compartment syndrome in general trying to cover everything written about it on the internet.
As regards operation the experiences vary from those who are in full training after fourteen days to those who actually gets worse and everything in between.
Now ,the real interesting thing i found where that Leeds United has had a history of shin-splints a few which has been diagnosed as compartment-syndrome. Apparently a specialist in London(i believe) has been able to operate on those players with success. There were mention of a new method.

The number of times Shin splints is mistaken as ACS is amazing too though.
The Leeds guys def. had ACS?

Thor - just to clarify - back running 14 days after surgery?

Yes ,someone got lucky and were back training after just two weeks.
The specialist mentioned were the one who treated Andy Cole.

Is she using creatine? I have read that creatine can cause or exacerbate ACS.

ACS can often be separated from shin-splints by the symptoms. ACS will get worse as the workout progresses, as pressure increases as the muscles swell, while shin-splints may ease off as the athlete gets warmer. Numbness is a bad sign.

And ACS pain lasts on after activity ceases whereas shin splints ease generally shortly after ceasing activity