Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chronic Compartment Syndrome

So, I went to see the doc for a second time up in Provo this morning, and he stuck huge needles in my lower leg, made me run for a mile on a treadmill, and then stuck more huge needles in my lower leg. He said I tested for chronic compartment syndrome. The kicker, though, is it's in my lower left leg between the shin and the ankle (just above). The docs in the clinic have never seen it there before, so they're consulting a specialist to see if I need surgery. It requires going in and cutting the fascia to release the pressure, then stitching it all back up. I Googled pictures of this procedure and fainted.

In the meantime, he said if I'm up to the pain, I can keep running for my marathon. So, the training goes on. In fact, I think even if he does tell me to do the surgery, I'll run the Marathon in May and then go under the knife. Who needs summer vacation anyway.

6 comments:

Bryan & Bobbie said...

I knew a guy in the Army who had collapsed veins in his legs or something like that. They first thought it was Compartment Syndrome and filed him for that. But later, after more testing, they discovered his crazy pain was from this other source. They described Compartment Syndrome, and the surgery as tin cans filled to capacity with way too much pressure inside, ready to burst. The surgery is like cutting down the wall of the can to relieve the pressure. I hope all goes well.

harwood said...

I googled the syndrome, and if you run the Marathon with that kind of pain -- you are indeed my new super hero. I also googled photos of the surgery and almost threw up. Good Luck!!

The Real Jim Heywood said...

Wowzers. I've been seeing a chiropractor (don't tell my wife) for the last six weeks trying to relieve various aches and pains - some of which have kept me from running - and today I'll be seeing a massage therapist (don't tell my wife) for the pains the chiropractor didn't alleviate. After all is said and done, my (on-again-off-again pain from my) meniscus tear may keep me off the paths anyway. Old age drinks through a straw.

joeheywood said...

It's not the "compartment syndrome" that is constant pain. It's chronic, so that means, it comes on sometime during my running and persists. If I concentrate on my daydreaming hard enough, I forget about it. But if my mind settles on it, then I want to stop and lie down.

I'm actually going to start the "alternative to surgery" round next week with a physical therapist who's going to do some ASTYM stuff to my leg (a scraping/massage with instruments) that breaks up scar tissue and other mumbo jumbo. We think this might do the trick because we think some kind of nerve entrapment might be happening. I'm also having a massage therapist work on my legs (three sessions already) and that has helped alleviate all the trigger points and other stuff surrounding this one muscle. With this last problem isolated, hopefully, we can fix it without surgery.

Run, run, run...

Wendy and Gang said...

Good luck Joe! I ran 11 miles a couple of weeks ago and my knee and hip were killing me! Running when you hurt is super hard mentally! This made me reallize I should stick to the half marathons!!

Eric James and Kacie Jane said...

Surgery is smothered in lame sauce.

-Eric