Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in sports medicine or orthopedic surgery.

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
  • Key personal information, including what sports you participate in, the type of exercise you do, and how much and how often you exercise
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Get copies of recent imaging tests you've had, if possible. Ask your doctor's staff how you can get these forwarded to your doctor before the appointment.

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For chronic exertional compartment syndrome, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Are there restrictions I need to follow, such as avoiding certain activities?
  • Should I see a specialist? If so, whom do you recommend?
  • Are there brochures or other printed materials I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, such as:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • How soon do your symptoms start after you begin your activity?
  • How quickly do your symptoms resolve after you stop your activity?
  • Do you notice weakness in your legs or feet?
  • Do you have numbness or tingling?
Feb. 12, 2016
References
  1. Meehan WP. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  2. George CA, et al. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2012;31:307.
  3. Compartment syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00204. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  4. Rajasekaran S, et al. Exertional leg pain. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2016;27:91.
  5. Ringler MD, et al. MRI accurately detects chronic exertional compartment syndrome: A validation study. Skeletal Radiology. 2013;42:385.