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Joseph Norris, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon Sports Medicine
Home Patient Info Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS/Shin Splints)

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS/Shin Splints)

Definition

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS or “shin splints”) is a term used to describe inflammation on the medial (inside) part of the tibia (shin) that results from muscles (tibialis anterior) and tendons pulling on the periosteum (covering on the outside of bone)

Causes

  • Usually seen in runners, basketball, and tennis players
  • Can occur in anyone who has had a sudden increase in repetitive activity
  • People who also have flat-feet (pes-planus) are at increased risk for MTSS as there is unequal force put across the medial side of the tibia

Symptoms

  • Pain along the medial (inside) part of the tibia (shin) with activity
  • Sometimes swelling is present
  • Pain to touch along medial side
  • Other conditions like a stress fracture and exertional compartment syndrome can mimic MTSS, important to see healthcare provider to rule these out

Treatment

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • NSAIDs (Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin, etc..)
  • Orthotics (if flat-foot present)
  • Cross Training (mixing up workout routine)
  • Sometimes will treat patient with a boot, and have them come out of the boot in 1-2 weeks and slowly get back to activity if pain free
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