Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Oct 08, 2015
  • Author: Gregory A Rowdon, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The clinician must perform a full evaluation and assessment to appropriately diagnose chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS). An error in diagnosis can lead to unnecessary surgical procedures (eg, fasciotomy, fasciectomy), which may result in further complications.

One should consider the significant overlap between CECS and other lower extremity pain syndromes and entities. These may include periostitis, tibial or fibular stress fracture, and anterior tibial pain syndrome (ie, medial tibial stress syndrome, lateral tibial stress syndrome).

Other problems consider include the following:

  • Infection

  • Periostitis

  • Vascular entrapment syndromes

  • Vascular claudication

Differential Diagnoses