Exertional compartment syndrome of the forearm is exercise induced.  It is common among rowers.  The symptoms start after training for a period, persist, and are relieved when exercise stops.  Symptoms can be aching, cramping or burning pain of the forearm, pins and needles, numbness, cold feeling, discolouration and weakness.  The history and examination will guide us with the diagnosis and treatment. Should we want to investigate further, a sport exercise induced MRI will be done (an initial MRI, followed by exercise, and re-MRI when the symptoms present). 



Conservative treatment:

  • Activity modification
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


Surgery is usually the mainstay of treatment for debilitating symptoms and the professional athlete that does not wish to change sport (activity modification).