Letter to the editor: Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome articles – clarification needed!

September 19, 2011

The Editor

British Journal of Sports Medicine

Dear Prof Khan

Re: Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome articles

I was very excited to receive the September issue of your journal and observe that there were a number of articles on chronic exertional compartment syndrome. As Hutchinson quite rightly states in Chronic exertional compartment syndrome: “key questions remain regarding the specific protocol a clinician should undergo when performing intracompartmental pressure testing.”

Although one can not be 100% sure of the diagnosis by only performing a thorough history and clinical examination, it is quite a painful and invasive procedure. I am therefore quite reluctant to do the procedure as suggested by Hutchinson i.e. both legs, pre- and post exertional, and all four compartments. Much to my surprise the next article by Hislop and Batt advised the exact opposite, i.e. one leg should suffice, resting pressures can be misleading and it is not necessary to test asymptomatic compartments.

I am now more confused than before reading these articles and would really appreciate guidance.

Kind regards,

DR DC JANSE VAN RENSBURG

HEAD: SECTION SPORTS MEDICINE

DEPARTMENT OF ORTHOPAEDICS

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

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