"Shin splints" is used to describe the pain and inflammation of the tendons, muscles and bone tissue around the tibia or shine bone (a large bone in the lower leg). It occurs because of vigorous physical activity such as exercise or sports. The condition is also referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).
The common cause of shin splints is overuse of muscles and bone tissue of the tibia because of repetitive sports activity and a sudden change in the physical activity level. The other causes of shin splints include:
Flat feet or a rigid arch and use of improper or worn-out footwear while exercising may increase the risk of developing shin splints. Runners and dancers are at a higher risk of developing shin splints.
The most commonly occurring symptoms include pain in front side of the lower leg. Some of the children experience pain during or after exercises. Mild swelling may be accompanied in the lower leg because of which your child may feel weak or numb.
Your doctor will diagnose the condition through physical examination of the lower leg. In some cases, an X-ray or other tests may be required to detect stress fractures of the tibia bone.
The treatment for shin splints consists of non-surgical and surgical procedures. The non-surgical or conservative procedure includes:
Surgical treatment is an option that is considered only in very severe cases when the conservative methods fail to relieve pain. Surgery may be needed in conditions where the pain becomes severe due to compartment syndrome. Fasciotomy is a surgical procedure where the tough and fibrous tissue is split to relieve the pressure built up within muscle compartments.
Shin splints can be prevented by following these measures: