Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints)

Updated: Sep 29, 2019

Cause: Overuse, flatfoot, poor gait technique.

Appearance: Pain in the lower inside portion of the leg during exercise (distal medial tibia).

How to Diagnose: Clinical exam, palpation of the lower inside portion of the tibia (leg bone). MRI, bone scan.


- Rest, ice, elevation, compression

- Anti-inflammatories (if ok to take)

- Orthotics are first-line treatment

- Brace (custom > OTC)

- Rest from athletics for 6 weeks

- If severe – immobilization in boot for 4 weeks

- Surgery (for athletes who have failed conservative care for at least 6 months)

o Return to sports at 6-12 months

§ Orthotics will need to be used indefinitely

Long-term prognosis: Conservative care works in the vast majority of cases. Orthotics work well to prevent strain. Surgery has varying success rates and thus should be a last resort.

Who to call: Podiatrist, orthopedic surgeon

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