Muscle Function in Chronic Compartment Syndrome of the Leg
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Chronic compartment syndrome (CCS) is a recognized cause of recurrent leg pain in the exercising patient. Decreased muscle function has been implied in this condition. This study compared the ankle dorsiflexion torque of 10 CCS patients with that of 18 control subjects during 20 repeated, maximal, isokinetic contractions at 60 degrees/sec. Peak torque, relative peak torque, and endurance data were collected. Results showed significantly lower peak torque and relative peak torque in the CCS group (p < or = 0.05), supporting the implication of muscle weakness in CCS. Paradoxically, endurance was significantly higher in the CCS group (p < or = 0.01), and there was a significant (p < or = 0.01), negative correlation (r = -0.50) between peak torque and endurance. The relationship between the findings and CCS is discussed. Strengthening may be useful in very mild cases or in postfasciotomy patients.
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