Exertional Supraspinatus Syndrome: A Report of Two Cases

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We present 2 unique cases of exertional supraspinatus syndrome related to overexertion in 2 young men. In both cases, the diagnosis was delayed because the symptom was nonspecific shoulder pain; however, progressive pain, an elevated creatine kinase (CK) level, and either increased compartmental pressures or findings on magnetic resonance imaging eventually led to the appropriate diagnosis.


The terms “supraspinatus compartment syndrome” and “supraspinatus rhabdomyolysis” are inappropriately used interchangeably. We believe that both conditions are part of a spectrum of pathology called exertional supraspinatus syndrome. It is important to differentiate between these conditions because a patient with supraspinatus compartment syndrome, which is distinguished by elevated compartment pressures, requires an immediate fasciotomy.

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