SIU Division of Orthopaedic Surgery 
Phone: 217-545-8000
Fax: 217-545-2536
E-Mail: orthopaedics@siumed.edu 
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Lower Leg Conditions and Treatments

The lower leg is especially susceptible to injuries of the overuse or chronic type.  It is responsible for transmitting forces from the foot up to the knee and can be affected by overtraining, especially with high impact activities.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are often diagnosed as a condition called medial tibia stress syndrome.  This occurs in overuse scenarios when the shinbone (tibia) is being exposed to high stresses of running or other training.  Pain is usually present on the lower half of the inside of the shin.

Compartment Syndrome

The muscle, bone and other tissue of the inside of the lower leg is divided into four sections called compartments.  Each compartment is bound by tissue called fascia.  In cases of overuse, these compartments may become inflamed and cause a feeling of tightness and pain.  Treatments often include rest and rehabilitation but may involve surgery to release the pressure build up in these compartments.

Lower Leg Treatments

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is blood plasma with concentrated platelets.  These platelets contain bioactive proteins that initiate the healing of connective tissue such as bone, tendons and ligaments.  PRP can be injected throughout the body which can help with sports injuries including tennis elbow, hamstring injuries, athletic pubalgia, calf strains and other damaged tendons or ligaments. 

Patients see significant improvement immediately when paired with a rehabilitation program which may eliminate the need for aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery.