Diagnosis and management of acute medial tibial stress syndrome in a fifteen year old female surf life-saving competitor. A case report.

Author: Pietrzak M

As the health and cost benefits of physical activity to society are established and participation guidelines implemented, health practitioners are increasingly expected to utilize efficacious and justified injury management and prevention strategies. The complex and multifactorial nature of sports injury makes elucidation of multiple risk factors and how they may subtly and variably interact, difficult. The purpose of this case report is to discuss the differential diagnosis, acute management, and rehabilitation of medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) in a surf life-saving athlete, in the context of sports injury prevention.  The subject of this case study, a 15-year-old female surf life-saving competitor, presented to the physiotherapist (PT) with recent onset, first episode, bilateral, diffuse posteromedial shin pain. Differential diagnosis, acute management, rehabilitation and preventative strategies for the subject are presented.  Emerging injury surveillance research in surf life-saving suggests minor and major trauma as primary causative factors, however, the significance of high training volumes is likely underestimated. The influence of biomechanical, and subtle arthrokinematic dysfunctions on established risk factors for MTSS injury and re-injury for this subject, are also discussed. Furthermore, the concept of preventing tibial stress fracture (TSF) by successfully managing acute MTSS, is presented. Lastly, a critical analysis of reliability of clinical assessment methodologies utilised with the subject is provided.

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