Anterior tibial compartment syndrome is characterized by ischemic necrosis of the muscles of the anterior compartment of the leg. It occurs presumably as a result of compression of arteries (anterior tibial artery and its branches) by swollen muscles following excessive exertion. It is accompanied by extreme tenderness and pain on the anterolateral aspect of the leg.
Shin splint is a painful condition of the anterior compartment of the leg along the thin bone (tibia) caused by swollen muscles in the anterior compartment, particularly the tibialis anterior muscle, following athletic overexertion. It may be a mild form of the anterior compartment syndrome.
Muscle cramp (“charley horse”) is a sudden, involuntary, painful contraction of muscles of the lower limb. It is caused by muscle fatigue from prolonged sitting, overexertion, dehydration, and depletion or imbalance of salt and minerals (electrolytes) such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium as well as a poor blood supply to leg muscles. The most commonly affected muscles are the calf muscle, hamstrings, and quadriceps. The cramp goes away within a few minutes, or it can be treated by a gentle stretch and massage of the cramped muscle, pain relievers, and muscle relaxers.
Intermittent claudication is a condition of limping caused by ischemia of the muscles in the lower limbs, chiefl y the calf muscles, and is seen in occlusive peripheral arterial diseases particularly in the popliteal artery and its branches. The main symptom is leg pain that occurs during walking and intensifi es until walking is impossible, but the pain is relieved by rest.