IntroductionShin splints is a term to describe pain at the front or lower inside edge of the leg. The pain is most frequently caused by muscle overuse, improper form when exercising, or wearing the wrong type of athletic shoes. Most cases of shin splints resolve with rest. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat complications from shin splints.
The pain occurs when the edge of the tibialis muscles pull away from the bone from repeated stress or overuse. This causes the muscles and the covering of the bone (periosteum) to become inflamed.
SymptomsShin splints cause a dull aching pain on the front or inside lower part of the leg. The pain may increase when you move your legs, climb stairs, or walk. The pain typically goes away with rest and may be worse when you first wake up in the morning. The sore area occasionally appears red and swollen.
SurgeryIn rare cases, surgery may be necessary for complications related to shin splints, such as bone avulsion or compartment syndrome. Surgery can be required if part of the bone has torn away and needs repair. A fasciotomy is a surgical procedure used to reduce the pressure in the leg. Most surgeries are followed by a period of physical therapy
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.