Exertional Medial Compartment Syndrome of the Foot: Referred Pain and Sequelae of Delayed Diagnosis—A Case Report

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In a 31-year-old man, the diagnosis of medial compartment syndrome of foot was delayed for 8 days. In contrast to previously reported cases, the patient presented with mainly bilateral lateral thigh-referred pain rather than foot pain. Although delayed decompression of the medial compartment provided dramatic relief of the referred pain, the patient complained of sensory deficit at the medial side of the foot and flexion deformity of the great toe at the final follow-up visit. Medial compartment syndrome of the foot can cause referred pain, and delayed or missed diagnosis can cause irreversible damage. Therefore, prompt diagnosis of compartment syndrome is crucial, and clinicians must consider the possibility of referred pain when the origin of pain is uncertain.

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