Int J Sports Med 2020; 41(03): 196-202
DOI: 10.1055/a-1065-1902
Orthopedics & Biomechanics
© © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Features of Chronic Exertional Compartmental Syndrome of the Leg in Elite Nordic Skiers

Nadege Calvelli
1  Grenoble University Hospital, Sports and Pathology Unit, Alpes Hypoxie and physiopathology Grenoble University, INSERM U 1042, Echirolles, France
,
samuel Vergès
2  CHU et Université Joseh Fourier, Grenoble, Laboratoire REX-S, Echirolles, France
,
Marie-Philippe Rousseaux-Blanchi
3  Centre hospitalier albertville-Moutiers, Sports medicine, Albertville, France
,
Pascal Edouard
4  University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Department of Exercise and clinical Physiology, Saint Etienne, France
,
Michel Guinot
1  Grenoble University Hospital, Sports and Pathology Unit, Alpes Hypoxie and physiopathology Grenoble University, INSERM U 1042, Echirolles, France
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History



accepted 14 November 2019

Publication Date:
14 January 2020 (online)

Abstract

This study aimed to assess prevalence and incidence of chronic exertional compartmental syndrome as well as functional outcomes after surgery in elite Nordic skiers. An exhaustive list of 294 elite Nordic skiers from the French national teams between 1994 and 2014 was analyzed through their individual medical files in order to identify cases of chronic exertional compartmental syndrome. Eighteen athletes had confirmed diagnosis and performed a structured interview to identify factors associated with chronic exertional compartmental syndrome and surgery outcomes. The prevalence was 6.1% and the incidence 13 per 1000 skier-years. Biathletes had a higher prevalence than cross-country skiers (OR=0.40, p=0.08). Free-technique skiing and roller-skiing were the main conditions inducing symptoms. All injured athletes had bilateral surgery and 94% of them reported no more or sporadic leg pain after. Almost 90% resumed competition at the same or higher level than prior surgery. Compare to previous studies, the incidence rate of chronic exertional compartmental syndrome is higher in French elite Nordic skiers. The higher prevalence in biathletes and the trigger during free-technique skiing suggest a contribution of this technique to this disease. This study also confirmed that surgery was an efficient therapeutic solution without compromising athletes’ career.