Dr Mark Young
MBBS FACSP FFSEM(UK) DRCOG(UK)
Specialising in Sports, Exercise and Musculoskeletal Medicine
COMPARTMENT PRESSURE TEST PROTOCOL
Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is a condition whereby the intramuscular pressures (usually in the lower leg) are raised during exercise, which may cause muscle pain. This condition is most commonly seen in the anterior compartment and/or the deep posterior compartments of the lower leg.
The most accurate way to diagnose this condition is to perform intracompartment and intramuscular pressure testing, and this is usually carried out before, during or after exercise. This means that patient will be required to reproduce symptoms e.g. by running on a treadmill. Once symptoms have been reproduced, then a Stryker pressure manometer needle is placed into the relevant muscle compartment. If more than one compartment is thought to be affected, then the needle will need to be placed in each compartment.
The test is only relevant when identical exercise-related symptoms have been reproduced, and it is therefore important that you continue with your normal exercise regime, up until the scheduled compartment pressure testing. This is because compartment syndrome does temporarily improve with prolonged periods of rest, and so a false negative result may occur.
There are small risks involved, including neurovascular damage and infection from this procedure.
If you are undergoing compartment pressure testing, it is important that you attend the consultation in running gear, with appropriate running shoes, a towel, and a water bottle. You should not undertake this test if there are any concurrent medical conditions (e.g. cardiac disease, uncontrolled asthma, or intercurrent injury of infection.
The test usually takes 45 minutes and it is likely that you will be able to drive home after this procedure. The cost of this test is $675.
If you have any further queries with regard to this, please contact my secretary on 3831 1908.
Dr Mark Young