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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome Forum's LiveJournal:

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Friday, March 17th, 2017
10:57 pm
[ext_4057022]
Chronic compartment syndrome HELP!
Hi,
As a rugby league player I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in 2013.
In 2014 I had a fasciotomy on both legs in my anterior compartments. I then played football for another 12 months until the pain returned. I then saw another surgeon who without doing any further testing performed another fasciotomy in Nov 2015. Since then the pain has returned even worse then what it ever has been. I have a constant dull ache in both legs and constant tightness. I can only run for around 10 minutes until my legs get extremely tight and ache causing me to stop running. I also have pins and needles in my lower right leg just above my ankle which runs into my foot and gets worse as my legs swell during the day at work.
I've seen a vascular surgeon and had multiple tests done all coming back as normal. The specialist seems to think it is scarring causing me the constant ache and has suggested a fasciectomy instead of a fasciotomy this time were they will re- release compartments and cut a slot of fascia about 10mm wide out and cut the scarring bands from precious surgeries which will hopefully reduce the scarring in the future.
I just wanted to see if there is anyone who has had a similar experience that can shed any light at all on anything to do with this condition. I'm unsure on whether I should proceed with the surgery and any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
11:44 am
[kp12345]
Compartment Syndrome? HELP!
I have been struggling with extreme tightness in both my calves and shins for about three years now. I am a competitive soccer player (collegiate;division 1) and while I have been able to somewhat play through the pain, it has gotten to the point where it is unbearable.
I find it necessary to point out my pain has worked its way up to my hamstrings, quads, and lower back. Therefore, for the past year or so, it is not only my calves and shins that seem to lock up and cramp up, but also the upper parts of my legs and lower back. This has resulted in a limited range of motion on and off the field (despite the hours and hours spent foam rolling per week) and ultimately affected my level of playing.

About two years ago, I went to the doctor and he mentioned I could have CECS, but that he first had to run some tests through to make sure. I ended up leaving to college out of state and never followed through with the tests (was also a bit scared about the surgical procedure he thought would be needed to relieve my pain).

I was wondering if this has happened to any of you (especially where not only the calves and shins lock up, but also the hamstrings, quads, and lower back) or if anyone had any idea as to what this could be?! Could it be compartment syndrome?

P.S. pain is only when I begin exercising and goes away somewhere between 5-30 minutes after resting.

Anything helps!
Monday, December 14th, 2015
3:19 pm
[samgat55]
Trouble with post-compartment syndrome surgery
I needed some support for a surgery that has changed my life this year(not for the better). I was wondering if anyone at all has experienced any of this and if so, what they did for help. I have been a Crossfitter person for nearly 4 years, I really do love it. Before that you couldn't get me off the couch. I was super proud of myself in the following years to change my entire lifestyle. I complained so much for years about this leg pain I would get in both calves/shins. Most thought it was shin splits. It was not, recently in April of 2015, every time I went to the gym and ran a short distance, jumped, did almost anything involving my legs I had a super bad amount of pain in both shins/calves. In May 2015, I ran a mud run, with compression shin sleeves, I thought they'd help. It was only a 3mile run with obstacles, I made it about 5 minutes until my legs were burning with pain. I walked/limped the whole race while my team finished about an hour a head of me. It was terrible, my ankles and feet swelled up, wouldn't go away so I went to the doctor, I was tested for chronic compartment syndrome and set for bilateral fasciatomy surgery by June 2015. It is now Dec 2015. My left leg is the worst, it has many hernias popping out, my leg is just plain lumpy. I cannot lift my foot up, like "tap" it, I have a numb spot on the right side of my foot that has yet to come back and when you massage down my leg from scar to scar, there is a weird tingling that runs from my leg to my numb spot on my foot. Then on both legs I have pain, lots of pain. A lot of it is to the touch. My phys therapist was like, have someone massage them, it could be nerves not firing correctly yet and they need to be use to getting touched. As I said, my surgery was June 17th, it has been nearly 6 months. I cannot run, I cannot lift heavy, I cannot jump, I cannot squat, I cannot stand for very long, and I cannot walk for long periods of time... standing and or walking for about an hour or 2, my legs feel like they're dead and I don't want to lift my feet of the ground. My doctor says I am a slow healer....great. But, I have 0 idea if this is actually normal, if someone else out there has dealt with all these issues and has a better prognoses than me. Thank you to anyone, for insight!
Saturday, August 16th, 2014
11:36 am
[runnergal77]
Help
I have been struggling with CECS for almost a year now. I have been a serious runner for four years, and had planned to run my first trail ultramarathon this year. Last November I was diagnosed with CECS. I was informed of the two possible courses of action: surgery (faciotomy) or conservative treatment through physical therapy. I opted for the physical therapy route; and I entered the long process of treatment through strengthening combined with massage therapy and e-stem electric therapy to reduce swelling. I really devoted myself to this process. Over the past few years I had become mentally/emotionally dependent on running as a daily stress reliever, something that I absolutely loved doing, and at the time my only form of exercise. Although after a few months of this I had dramatically improved my stride, the compartment syndrome symptoms continued. During these months I was not able to run, and joined a gym so I could take up swimming. In April, I made an appointment with a surgeon to discuss the surgical route, and possibly have a formal diagnosis. After hearing about my symptoms, looking at my legs, and taking x-rays to eliminate other possible causes, the surgeon told me that a formal diagnosis wouldn't be necessary. He recommended that I go ahead and get the surgery (a release of my anterior and lateral compartments). He said that this surgery had an extremely high success rate, and that if all went well I'd probably be back to running a month after the surgery. He also told me that if I got the surgery on a Thursday, I'd be back to school the following Monday. Neither of these predictions held true. I ended up missing about a collective week and a half of school because of the swelling. It was about a month before I was able to resume any exercise at all; needless to say I wasn't ready to ease back into running at that point. Two months after surgery, when the surgeon gave me the ok, I started to try running again; beginning with a mile, then progressing slowly. When running, I wore calf sleeves to reduce swelling. On my fifth run or so, I tried to run a couple miles easy on a trail, and immediately experienced pain in my left leg. I wasn't able to run for a couple weeks after that. A few weeks after that, on a treadmill, I went about a mile before I looked down to see two small, egg-like bulges below the scar on my right leg. It has been about three weeks since that run, and the bulges still appear when I put my weight on that leg. Two days ago, I tried to run a mile, and found my legs feeling tight and full (like compartment syndrome). Instead of subsiding after the exercise, the tightness lasted all day. Since then the anterior and lateral (front and side) muscles on both of my shins have felt and looked swollen from the base of my knee to the top of my ankle. I haven't run since. I've decided to try taking another month off of running, and focus on biking and swimming. From all that I've heard and read, experiencing the "compartment syndrome feeling" post surgery is a red flag. I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to run again. This injury has consumed my life, and I'm worried that it will continue to do so. Running is one of my hugest passions, and I would hate to have to let it go. I wanted to reach out to other people who've had similar experiences to mine, and who might be able to offer some insight. I'm feeling depressed and without hope.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
5:39 pm
[valkyri]
Help
Hey everyone - hopefully someone is still listening because I'm going to take a shot in the dark here.

Basically since the year began I've been trying to run. I've been stopped each time due to pain in my lower calf at the back, about where my soleus muscle is - where the achilles attaches to the calf. If I squeeze right there I do feel a lump and it is painful - but it doesn't hurt unless I'm running and it hurts for awhile after I run.

After awhile of not running, it didn't get better, it got worse. It started with pain in the morning in that spot, it continued - having pain after sitting for awhile, and now has progressed to more all over the calf pain (back and sides predominately, but not limited) as well as my right foot - where I've suffered from PF for, well, forever - but there was some improvement after my CECS surgery (April of - what was it? 08?)

As of yesterday I noticed my calves are "full" again, but not after activity - ALL THE TIME. They hurt pretty much constantly. They aren't OMFG BALLOON BURSTING like it was when I ran before the surgery, but they are definitely hard and big, the balloon isn't ready to burst, but it is ready for a party - unlike the half inflated balloon it should be while resting.

About stage "swelling at the bottom of calves" I self-diagnosed with achilles tendonitis (or dinitis perhaps) and started treating it like that, so, basically ice and rest. I don't modify my footwear because it would a) enrage my PF and b) to me, it's counter-intuitive - going barefoot as much as possible and allowing my feet to be "natural" seems to make it feel marginally better. In fact, while I was still attempting to run I would have to take my shoes off and run barefoot in order to avoid show-stopping pain. Every other recommended AT treatment I followed, more or less.

The problem now in my whole calf is edema, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out, anyone who has had CECS knows it. The way I see it I have two options. 1. Book a massage and see if it can get rid of the edema. It's possible, but doesn't give me the underlying cause. Then again, if it works, who cares about the underlying cause? 2. Head back to my doctor which will start a chain reaction of appointments - I really don't have time for right now (I can't afford to lose the pay from work and taking enough time off to have a battery of tests will not fare well for my employment status). They might find something, they might not. They might just tell me to try massage therapy and see if it works, which is entirely likely with my Sports Med doctor.

The only thing I worry about is that they are in a state of hard-and-swollen pretty much constantly, and I'm not sure if it's doing any damage. If so, then I definitely would take the doctor route and do whatever I need to do - and with some hope, see a local ortho. (My ortho for surgery was an hour's drive away, he was the only one that did fasciotomies)

Has anyone else had a repeat like this? What did you do? What happened? What was the end result? Any adv
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
2:16 pm
[nzlife]
CS Success Story!

I know there hasn't been any action whatsoever on here, but I just wanted to share a quick story for those few new users who have creeped on here recently.  First off, welcome, I hope you can read back on some of the posts and find some useful information that will help you through the fun fun times of compartment syndrome.

As you can read back you'll see that I had surgery back in 2008.  There were a lot of ups and downs post surgery and fear that the surgery didn't actually fix anything.  I still have the painful days where the legs don't cooperate like they should be and cause me a lot of grief, but they are becoming less and less as time goes on.  The great news is that in October this year I completed my first half marathon post surgery!!!  It was ridiculously slow compared to previous half marathons that I've done, but every step of the way I celebrated how far I had come.  The sore muscles and aching legs at the end were all worth it.  As I mentioned in a previous post I have become a full supporter of compression socks.  I own two pairs I wear all the time for running and refuse to run without them.  Every CS sufferer should consider them.  To celebrate how far I have come in the past two years, I bought a pair of bright pink compression socks for my race day.  Why pink?  Because after surgery I requested that my ankle to knee bandages be bright pink.  So I stuck with the pink theme to commemorate the day that my running life got back on track....surgery day. 

Just to show you newbies, here is some evidence!

I went from this:

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v739/andreapants/?action=view&current=IMG_0646.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v739/andreapants/IMG_0646.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

To this:

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v739/andreapants/?action=view&current=running.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v739/andreapants/running.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Every step of pain in the past two years was worth this moment where I got to high five my family and friends as I achieved something I could only dream prior to surgery.


Friday, October 16th, 2009
12:43 pm
[nzlife]
hello fellow members who are still occassionally reading updates in this community.  i know there hasn't been a ton of action lately, but i have been in touch with 2 people who have recently stumbled across our community and have personally messaged me with their stories.  it made me realize that what we started here is actually quite valuable to some people who are either just recently diagnosed, or are in the recovery stages.  i'm not too sure where we are all at with our own recovery, but i do hope that all of you are progressing well and are slowly making the steps towards your original lifestyle before Compartment Syndrome.

just a little update for me.  i have some great news.  but that will come second.  i am still getting a decent amount of pain in my legs.  i will admit though that i haven't been doing the stretches the doctor gave me as often as i should.  i don't make a very good patient.  so part of the pain is most likely my own fault.  with the season changing i have naturally had an increased level of pain in my legs.  i am relying on my anti-inflammatory cream on days when it is really bad.  i am trying to reduce the amount of pain killers i take when i am sore as i have never been a person dependent on using them but for some reason have started using them way too much. 

alright, time to stop whining about the pain (i could seriously do a whole entry about it!!) and on to the good stuff!  over the long weekend i completed my first running race since surgery!!!!!  i did an 8km road race.  i had moderately trained for it (only 2-3 short runs a week) and wasn't too sure what to expect.  in all of my training i allowed myself a 5 minute walking warm up to get the blood flowing and muscles moving in my legs.  then i slowly eased into running.  this is the routine i went into my race with.  my legs felt strong and didn't hurt a bit in the race.  actually, that's a partial lie.  with about 2km to go my left groin cramped up and my right calf did too.  but i didn't stop running.  i was so pleased to finally be out running that i figured i could deal with the cramping consequences later.  my time was embarrasingly slow...but at this point i don't care at all.  it's been a long time coming and i'll take that 52 minutes and be proud of it!  naturally i was pretty sore afterwards so i made sure i did a ton of stretching and massaged my legs quite well.  so that is the start of my success story!  i now have my sights set on a 10km race in November.  we'll see how my legs hold up!  i am still doing 2 workouts with my personal trainer a week.  they are very intense workouts which i absolutely love doing.  i know for a fact that what i am doing with him has and will benefit my running in the future!!

it feels nice to have some positive words for this update!  i hope all of you are doing well!!
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
9:30 am
[nzlife]

Since there seems to be some activity here I guess I should do a post of my own! I think in my last post I wrote about how I'm still having regular pain in my legs on a daily basis. Not so much when exercising, but more so post-exercise. And that I haven't been running because of this. Why would I want to go and do an activity that I know will cause me pain later on right? Instead I have been filling my time working with my personal trainer 3 time a week, and doing either Dragon Boat racing or Outrigger training. These have all been relatively leg friendly and are keeping me active.

I went and visited a sports medicine specialist on July 15th. I talked to him all about the pain I'm still having and how frustrating it is. He started making small mentions of pressure testing and I got a bit freaked out. But he said that they aren't set up to do the testing at that particular facility so it wasn't necessary. After lots of discussion he told me that basically my lateral muscles are weak…REALLY weak. To the point where they are basically doing nothing for my legs. Apparently after this surgery a patient should only be building up their muscle strength by 10% every two weeks. And I have obviously been exceeding that on a regular basis, so that's when the pain kicks in. So now I am on a program for 2 months of some rubber band exercises where I'm building up my lateral strength, some calf raise style exercises where I am having to try to balance myself standing on tippy toe on one leg. This one is hard. When I do it it is clearly obvious that I have no ability to hold myself up. My balance is SHOT. And of course I have to do some general stretches. At the 6 week point I am allowed to start doing a run/walk program. But I'm not allowed to try to run for 2 months. At this stage, after a month of doing my exercises I am pretty sure I feel a difference in the amount of pain I experience daily. There is still some there, but it's not piercing through my legs and distracting me from my daily routine. Tonight I am going to try my first run/walk. I need to start now because I have signed myself up for an 8km road race in October that I would ideally like to run the whole thing. If I have to walk some, it's not the end of the world. But running would be perfect!

This may be weird, or maybe just me. But does anyone else have any bruising around their scars that hasn't disappeared? On my right leg scar, at the very top is a small round circle shaped bruise that has been there since I first had my bandages removed. Some days it's darker than others. It doesn't hurt to push on. It's kind of like the skin has discoloured a tiny bit. Am I the only one?

10:18 am
[valkyri]
Hey Everyone.... pain in the calves, as usual.
It's been 16 months since surgery, and there have been a lot of ups and downs.

A friend of mine inspired me to train for and do a super sprint triathlon (try - a - tri) on Labour Day. I started training for it mid-June and after working on my running form, I was having some really excellent success.

I was running pain free. For the first time, like, ever.

Then I sprained my ankle, just mildly, so mild I didn't even realize it was sprained until after I ran 7K on it, then biked 5K and the biking really did it in. It was swollen and sore for the better part of two weeks. Once the swelling and 95% of the pain was gone, I started back up. This was about a total of 2 weeks layover from running. I still swam a little during that time, but that was about it. It doesn't seem like so much, does it? Just two weeks?

Yet, my first run back, something short - probably a 1.5 mile - caused me to have very sore calves. It's all in the back, achilles and lower calf area, and it does not seem to want to go away. It is isolated to one particular muscle. Even on days when walking and stairs (which are nasty) aren't causing me pain, within the first 2-3 minutes of a run, it starts to hurt. It slows me down considerably even if I do push through it. It's in both legs.

It drives me nuts because everything was good before the ankle sprain. I will not be able to avoid short periods (< month) of non-running in the future, I know this, and I do not want to have to live with calves that think I've never run before every time I need to take a couple of weeks off.

I believe this is related to the surgery, maybe I'm not stretching enough, I don't know but I was wondering if it happens to anyone else? Is there anything you can do to ease it or prevent it?

Hope everyone else is doing well and keeping active. I'm trying not to be too discouraged because I'm running a lot farther and better than I was 2 years ago. Though, when I head out for a five mile, and make 3.5 because my calves hurt too much, it's still not where I want to be.
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
6:50 pm
[jeeperchick10]
Hey it is great to see people posting again.  It has been a little over a year since my surgery and although it has been a long road I am starting to get some strength back.  This winter I didn't do very much and paid for it.  So in March I joined a gym and started working out with a trainer because i was afraid of doing to much and getting back to the same CS pain.  I started on the bike for cardio and slowly moved to the eliptical.  I had a few setbacks and had to start again a few times because I went a little to fast but now I can do 20 minutes on the elipitcal without too much pain.  I still have very little feeling in the front of my shins and feet unless someone scratches it then all i feel is pain. 

The trainer has really helped me get a lot of strength back in my legs that i lost from being nonactive for so long.  Sometimes he still doesn't understand that I have pain when doing some exercises which is frusterating.  I do have the muscle bulging out when I tighten some muscles and do some exercises.  Unfortunatly I have not gotten back into running because I have a hard time feeling my legs and unless i look down I wind up tripping over myself.  I took up biking this summer and so far have gone over 110 miles.  (pretty excited about that)

I have had some pain since the surgery but it is not as bad and it doesn't take long to go away.  Mostly I get a feeling of tightness and sometimes my calves get tight but not unbearable. 

Hopefully everyone else is feeling better and enjoying the summer. 
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
7:55 am
[nzlife]
it's been a few weeks since i last posted.  a few changes for me.  i decided that i have had enough with pain in my legs every day and went to a GP to get a referral to a sports medicine doctor at the big university here.  i've been there before in the past for my shoulder and was happy with the results, so i figure that it would be worthwhile to go and talk to someone who has experience with compartment syndrome sufferers.  this decision was triggered by something in an e-mail from my physiotherapist that made me realize that she probably doesn't know quite enough about it to help me through my pains.  so i'm now waiting not-so-patiently for a call to book an appointment.  this past week the pain has reduced a little so i'm not as eager to get the appointment...but i know right when the pain increases i'll be wanting it straight away.

i made a big decision to try to do the half marathon that my entire huge family does in october every year.  last year i walked the 8km race and then stood and watched all of them run happily across the finish line getting best times after their half.  using the training program from "Running Start to Finish" (which I have used for every half marathon I have trained for) i figured out that if i want to start training for it, i have to start on June 21st....or 22nd.  I can't quite remember.  i think it is completely do-able.  with the right care for my legs and feet i think i can achieve it.  although i plan to start off with training as a run/walk, and then build up. 

in order to drop some weight so i'm not carrying too much when i start running, and also in an attempt to improve my cardio levels, i have signed on with my trainer at the gym.  he's actually my sister's trainer and has give me and her  a wicked deal of 3 sessions a week for a month.  he is a tough trainer, which is surprising for someone who is only about 5'6!  but i love every second of it as he is pushing me harder than anyone ever has, but also being considerate of my leg issues and modifying things when i feel they are being over-worked.  i'm only a week into it, but so far the leg pain has been extremely minimal.  i actually went through last week barely noticing if they hurt or not.  this is a good sign!  so i'm probably going to stick with this plan for at least 2 months and let him kick my bum into shape.  i hate being in a gym when it's so warm and sunny out...but it's a sacrifice i'll make for my health!
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
9:53 am
[nzlife]

i wish we had some more readers to the community so i could get some fellow runner's advice for my problem i have.  no, it's not CS related (for once) but it is running related.  it's something that has been an issue for over 10 years.  i will add a picture for effect once i'm done writing about it.  since i first started playing basketball i have had sensitive skin on the bottoms of my feet.  this meant for blisters all the time.  but the skin never hardened up.  once the blister went down...the skin would stay soft.  then after the next round of exercise the blister would pop up again.  i find that wearing expensive Thorlo running socks does help to an extent.  I have to wear the thickest ones.  On top of that I spray foot deoderant, then rub an anti-chafe stick on the area.  This normally helps for a little bit...until my feet start sweating and it's like it all drips off.  I have tried moleskin, but it doesn't stick.  I've tried large bandaids, small bandaids, anything resembling a bandaid...but they don't stick due to the location on my foot that it blisters.  It's to the point where the blistering can get so bad it stops me from running or walking any kind of distance because it's right where my skin stretches out with each step. 

so just so you know the area i'm talking about, here is a picture of my foot after running a half marathon (pre-compartment syndrome).  *warning....if you have a queasy stomach and don't like feet it might not be good to look*

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v739/andreapants/?action=view&current=disgustingfoot.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v739/andreapants/disgustingfoot.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

that is what i deal with after virtually every run.  maybe not to this extent as it was after the hottest half marathon i ever ran.  if i could show you what my foot looks like right now, after one run without my Thorlo socks, you would know what it's like.  So basically, I am just after some advice on any blister reducing techniques.  At this point I will try anything!!  Sorry if I disgusted anyone out there.
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
10:55 am
[nzlife]
i had a pretty good breakthrough last night!  at least for now i believe it was!  because the weather has been so incredibly gorgeous here lately (sorry to rub it in to those out east!), i packed up my walking clothes so i could walk home from work.  all up the walk is about 7km i think.  so after work i got all my clothes on and started the walk home.  i got re-routed from the direction i was heading in, so the walk was extended a little.  it got to the point where i was starting to get bored of walking....so i decided to try running.  i was carrying a small backpack with my work clothes in it, so i tightened all the straps around me and jumped around to see how much it would move.  it didn't really budge....so i started running.  and by running i mean a painfully slow pace that probably someone speed walking could pass.  it took me a bit to get my breathing right, but after awhile i got to the point where i started to feel strong.  the first bit of the run is flat, but about 1km into it it becomes all uphill.  just a steady incline, not major hill training style hills.  i ran up the first one which is the steepest.  once at the top i evened out my pace and then got my breathing under control.  i realized i was probably pushing myself a little harder than i should have been, so i slowed down to a speed walking pace for about 2km.  then once i hit flatter ground again i started running.  so it was a run/walk....just not a very even run/walk.  it was only in the last 500metres that the bottom of my left foot started to bug me.  i found that if i focused on stepping on it in a slightly more even way isntead of my usual rolling out that it relieved some of the pain.

once home i did some very thorough stretching.  or as thorough as you can get when your dog is trying to climb all over you for attention play time.  and then after i used my frozen water bottle and iced the bottoms of my feet.  then when my other running roommate was done with the ice packs, i iced my legs in the areas that tend to get sore from heavy exercise.  i was absolutely exhausted from the run and i slept the heaviest i have in a very long time.  and today i have glorious sore muscles in my hips and quads!  i haven't felt these kind of sore muscles in ages.  oh running, how i've missed you! 

so overall i'm feeling pretty optimistic about the run, and i'm pretty sure i will do it again.  it's a great route to take on a sunny day as it takes me down by the water and through a few little park-like areas.  and the best part of the run....no pain in the legs!  there was a small amount of tightness pulling in the compartments that i had surgery on.  and my calves were incredibly hard afterwards and took quite awhile to finally relax and not feel like they were going to tighten up and cramp on me.  but with the right amount of stretching it relieved some of the tightness. 

so overall i'm stoked!!
Monday, April 20th, 2009
1:07 pm
[nzlife]
i forgot to mention in one of my posts that my physiotherapist did accupuncture on my right leg.  i originally wanted her to do it on my feet, but she said that she wanted to start with the leg and see how my body reacts to it.  so she put the needles (is that what they are called?) all up the side of my ankle, a couple in my calf, one beside my knee, two in my quad area, and one on my hip and one more on to my bum.  i could instantly feel the pressure that was in my legs being pushed by the needles.  she said that she has never seen someone's leg react to the accupuncture like mine did.  a large area in my quad around the needle kind of swelled up in the shape of a circle.  no bruising or anything.  the area just got swollen.  i think it was because there was so much pressure in there.  i can't quite remember her exact explanation.  i can't say i felt any miraculous results from it, but i do think it took some of the pain away for at least a couple days.  i need to go back to her probably in the next two weeks to get it done again.  this time i'd like her to focus on my feet.

i haven't been for any walks or attempts at running this week.  i have had a visitor from new zealand here so i've been preoccupied showing him around the city.  i was meant to be walking home from work today, but after a bad sleep last night i completely forgot my backpack with all my walking clothes at home this morning.  and tomorrow nothing will happen because i will be racing home to watch the canucks play.  i love my priorities!  it's playoffs!  can't miss any games!

my feet have been aching like crazy lately.  it's made me a little miserable.  i'm not too sure why they have suddenly flared up so badly.  over the weekend i used my frozen water bottles and rolled my feet, as well as massaged them whenever i sat down.  and instead of walking around on saturday playing tour guide, we rented some old 7 speed bikes and rode around in order to save my legs a little.  they were still pretty sore afterwards though.  old bikes definitely aren't designed like my road bike!  speaking of that...i should be taking it out for rides more often than i have been.

so this is just a short little update on how things are going! 
Thursday, April 16th, 2009
9:01 pm
[valkyri]
Progress update
I had my surgery almost 1 year ago. I ran through the months of June, July (80 miles) and part of August. I ran a 5K fun run at the beginning of October. I tried to run a few times after that, and started getting some bad achilles/lower calf at the back pain. I pretty much gave up in November because the snow fell hard and fast, and never really went away. I didn't go to the gym all winter, my bad, but I didn't.

I started running 3 days ago. I ran one mile, it felt pretty good, but had the same lower calf/achilles pain in the last 1/4. This is coupled with excruciating arch pain which existed before the surgery, and is worse now. I stretch when I get home, and after 10 minutes, everything feels fine. This is what disturbs me, though it's not the same "feeling" as CECS, it does go away after a time, and doesn't bother me unless I'm running. It's not an injury, or at least one that is asymptomatic unless I'm running.

Yesterday I went out and again, at the end of the mile I felt this pain. When I stretch by standing on a step and putting my heels down, or the classic runner's wall stretch, it hurts, but I can get a pretty good stretch. I'm not sure if the stretching alleviates the pain, honestly, I should try just stopping for 5 minutes and seeing if it goes away without the stretching. Anyhow, like I said, it hurts but I get a good stretch - but if I point my toes WOOEY. I'll do a quad stretch, and put my foot up against a surface while doing it, and that both hurts like a sonofabitch, and seems to work. Now, if anything this is stretching the front of my calf, pointing my toes gets the same effect, just not as much. But it hurts in the back, achilles area. I'm not sure what gives with that, but it's the way it goes. No stretching helps the arch pain, which I believe is, and have been told by a chiropractor and a sports MD is "probably" planter fasciaitis.

Today I ran 1.5 miles. I had to stop just short of the 1/2 way point to stretch out, I also made some circles with my feet and genrally shook out all the kinks, then again, about 3/4 of the way where I sat for a minute as well and rested, and stretched out my hams a bit, which were also tight and sore.

I never, and I mean never, had this kind of pain or clenched muscles prior to the surgery. I'd have DOMS (which other than a slight bit in my quads I don't have now) and some after-exercise tenderness, but never anything like this during my runs. The CECS sure, but that's an entirely different feeling.

I also want to note that my calves were hard when I stopped, especially the second time, but seemed to soften up quickly. I'm sure this is normal, the way it's supposed to be, but I still get panicky whenever my calves get hard like that. The pain did seem to go as my calves "deflated" and I'm worried, really worried, that it's going to get worse.

I don't want to jump the gun and go back to the docs, at least not until I have tried a stretching regime. I may go about the foot pain, as it's getting worse, though I don't think there's much I can do about that other than what nzlife has suggested for me, other than possibly getting a night splint. The feeling is very much identical to the CECS except it's on the bottom of my right foot, with the swelling and fullness, and the fact that it goes away after a little bit, but that it takes longer to go the more I try to run.

Anyhow, it's not all peaches and cream, but I'm going to keep trying and I'll keep posting for anyone that may come along who is looking for personal stories on the recovery from fasciotomies.
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
1:55 pm
[nzlife]

Now that there seems to be some of us former Compartment Syndrome sufferers floating around, I thought I should do a little update. Maybe we will get some new people if they see that our community is still active. Even if it’s not the most active comm out there!

 

So, it has been a year and 4 days since my surgery. And I am not where I thought I would be. Not even close. I thought by now I would be gearing up for my first post surgery half marathon. I thought I would have competed in a few short runs. I thought I would be pain free. Unfortunately not the positive outcome I was expecting. I did have a bit of a set back in September when I moved from New Zealand back to my home country of Canada. 

 

Almost every day I have some form of throbbing in my legs. Not just in the areas that the surgeon cut open, but also in my calves and knees. Weather changes are excrutiating, especially when rain is on it’s way. I have small muscle spasms “popping” all over the place when my activity or walking levels are a little more than normal. Sometimes the pain keeps me from being active at all. Most of the time the pain isn’t there when I actually exercise. I spent a fortune each month on a gym membership that I barely use. I’m an outdoors person. Being trapped inside on a bike while looking outside isn’t ideal to me. But I try to make the most of it. Last time I was there I felt the beginning of the “fullness” that I suffered from pre-surgery and I panicked and jumped off the bike. I went and sat down on the ground and started stretching straight away. I haven’t felt it since. The high level of pain I’m still in got me worried, so I have started visiting a physiotherapist again. She has given me some exercises to strengthen my hips and ankles. These will apparently help reduce the strain on my lower legs and feet. She claims she can have me running a half marathon by October. But I have reduced my visits to her because they are ridiculously expensive. So for now I’m doing my own home treatments…which help a bit. 

 

I have decided to “suck it up” and try to push through the small pain, and start walking again. If the pain gets to be too much then I’ll have to figure something else out. All I know is that I want to run. My roommates are currently training for a half marathon in May, and it’s killing me watching them leave the house all pumped for their long runs. I can’t be an observer anymore. I need to build my strength up and get back out there! I believe I can do it with the right ratio of running and walking, as well as really focusing on stretching, massage and ice on the areas that bother me. I want to be proud of my big scars…not regret them because I’m not feeling any results from the hard surgery.

 

I also have plantar fasciitus in both feet. It’s incredibly restricting in all aspects of my life. Not just exercise, but in spending time on my feet shopping (which I don’t really do anyway), or just walking around more than normal. I’m doing all the tips that my physiotherapist told me to do and I hope that they will help. I also have resorted to wearing comfortable shoes 90% of the time. A typical girl my age would be wandering around in cute high heels…but not me. I have my comfortable hush puppies, and Ecco shoes. Not quite as trendy as a 26 year old should be! But I’d rather the comfort over the pain!

 

So I don’t want this post to be completely “poor me” sounding. So I will let you know that I am still remaining optimistic that I will run again. A friend asked me yesterday if I think I will ever do a half marathon again, I almost yelled “YES” at her. I know it will happen. Some day soon!!

11:52 am
[valkyri]
Stretches?
There is so much conflicting information out there.

My story:

Last April 24th I had quadruple fasciotomies on my calf muscles due to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. I was out running after about 4 weeks, and by September I ran a 5K fun run in 31:38. The biggest problem I had post-surgery was in my achilles region, and lower calf muscles at the back. They would be strung tight as a bow, and they'd hurt. What I was doing then was stopping after about 5 minutes and stretching them out. I'd find something (a curb, whatever) to put my toes on and lower my heels below it. After a month it started working.

I lapsed all winter. Couldn't afford a gym membership, and there is no running outside where I live (too much snow and ice) and well, I was bad, what can I say?

I went out for a run this morning, just a mile, without my watch (I've decided to let my body guide me, not the clock) and ran through it fine, but my achilles and calves were tight again. I also have some plantar fascitis in my right foot, and my arch will start to hurt as well. I think these stretches will help them too. It is *very* uncomfortable to stretch these muscles after I run, after the mile, and even after 5 minutes. It hurts to the point where my body says "NO!" They aren't nearly as tight before I run, and it's easier to do these stretches.

Now my question.

I would like to help this process along, and thereby making my runs more comfortable and ultimately safer. I was thinking if every time I walked up my stairs, to pause for a minute and gently strecth those muscles. Is this wise? I mean, not being warm? Though it's easier to do them, I fear that because they're not warm I will pull something and put myself further back. When I stretch after running, I don't seem to do any damage, it just hurts at the time.

So, I know what stretches to do, I'm just not sure when to do them, when is best. Should I do them before (and whenever I go up my stairs), or after and put up with the pain, or both?

x-posted to runners
11:45 am
[valkyri]
Hello...
This community hasn't had much action, but then, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we're all out running, or playing our sports, and being happy.

I for one, sat all winter doing not much of anything.

I went for a 1 mile run this morning and noticed for the first time, my muscle bulging out of the incision that my surgeon made. It looks weird, and feels all mushy. Whatever, as long as it worked.

My calf muscles in the back are tight as all get-out - as I mentioned in my previous post. I'm going to try and get back at it now that the snow is (almost) gone and the weather is bearable.

I have some horrible planter fascitis (sp?) in my right foot, arch. Any tips on how to alleviate that? It had only flared up while running, skiing, or skating before, but now it seems to have a dull ache every day. Does anyone else have tihs as well, and what do you do about it?

How goes it with all of you? I want to know how you're doing.
Monday, July 21st, 2008
11:43 pm
[jeeperchick10]
2 months postop
Hey all though i would give an update.  So i still have limited if any feeling on my shins and the outsides of my feet.  That has been getting annoying and the skin is really dry and itchy which is a new thing.  I have started to bike 1 took a 8 mile bike ride in about an hour and half not fast and not hilly but doing pretty good.  I haven't started to run but i am working up to. 

Right now i finished my last doctors appointment and he said that we are on track but it is slow and that is annoying more  than anything.  2 of my incisions are still not fully healed and one is still almost 3/4 of the way which is an issue because i am still trying to keep it mostly out of water (lake and river water)  and it doesn't always look the greatest. 

I am finishing PT this week and for my it has mostly helped get my ankle strength and hip flexablity back.  Cheerleading for 11 years did a number on the ankles and being down from the surgery for so long left them really weak.  Now I have balance and am starting to get my posture back. 

I have found that there are a lot of muscles that needed to be worked out and streched that i didn't know about before or overcompensated for.  The rest of my legs are starting to wake up.  I have found that my calfs now have definiton when i flex them that they never had before it is really interesting to see that.

I do have to say that almost all of the pain that i had before surgery is gone.  I have been feeling great and have only had a few cramping incidents since the surgery.  Other than that it has been great and feeling much better but i know that i am not at 100% yet. 
Thursday, July 17th, 2008
2:04 pm
[nzlife]
this community has become a little quiet lately. i don't even know if anyone is reading it anymore, but i thought i would do a quick post.

it's been just over three months since surgery. i've cut down on my running significantly after i was dealing with some pains from over doing things. cut down to the point where i actually haven't run in over two weeks. i did play basketball the other day though, which was great at the time...but not so great now.

has anyone had any issues with increased sore muscle pains? i am getting the standard sore muscles, but also a really achey throbbing pain all over. sore muscles are bad enough, but this additional pain isn't so enjoyable. i'm just starting to get a bit tired of leg pains. i thought surgery would make it better. it did make it better...to a point. i just didn't expect the recovery period to be this obvious this far along. :( i still can't wear high heels to work...even if i'm sitting all day. and i can't wear my boots because they put too much pressure on my incision lines. i guess i just want life to go back to normal.

i have a goal to do a 8km race in october...so almost three months away...but at the rate i'm going i'm not too sure whether running the whole thing will be achievable. and that gets me down too. i suppose i'm just hitting a bit of a low. mid-winter slump i suppose.
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