- “Shin Splints”
- More common in runners or running sports such as football, hockey and rugby.
- An overuse injury to the legs due to increasing training intensity too quickly, harder grounds or insufficient rest.
- Poor running technique, inappropriate shoes or poor lower limb function can contribute to the condition.
- There is some evidence that increased rotational forces within the tibia can contribute.
- Starts as an ache in the leg during activity or the day after.
- Speed of onset, duration and intensity of symptoms gradually increases.
- The time it takes to settle after exercise gradually becomes longer and exercise itself may not be possible.
- Symptoms are generally on the inside of the lower leg.
- Swelling or even redness noted in the front of the shins.
- Tight calf muscles.
Tests and Imaging
- Clinical examination and a detailed history allow diagnosis.
- X-rays of the lower leg may be indicated to rule out any obvious stress fracture (in most instances these x-rays will be negative).
- Ultrasound scan or MRI scan can help diagnosis if necessary.
- Bone scans can be used (but have generally been replaced by MRI scans).
- Advise appropriate shoes.
- Reduce activity
- Podiatry for biomechanical assessment, footwear advice, orthotics, stretching/strengthening.
- Orthopedic surgery may be required to release the soft tissues from the underlying bone.