Compartment Pressure Testing (CPT) is used to diagnose Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome, a common cause of exercise-related leg pain.
Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome classically presents as a gradual increase in pain during continuous activity, exacerbated by increases in distance or intensity of exercise, often forcing the person to cease the activity. Patients commonly describe a feeling of fullness or pressure in their legs, and occasionally notice lumps in the muscles.
Compartment Pressure Testing involves injecting a small amount of local anaesthetic into the skin at the sites where the pressures will be tested. The patient will then perform the activity that provokes their pain (e.g. jog, run, walk), until their symptoms are maximally reproduced. Patients are then asked to return to the room, where the Sports Physician will measure the compartment pressure with a pressure manometer. The test can take up to one hour to complete and typically, patients can drive or fly after the test.
CPT is very safe, but some complications may occur and this will be discussed by our Sports & Exercise Medicine (SEM) Physicians prior to organising your CPT appointment. Our SEM Physicians always prefer to see the patient before arranging a time for the test to ensure the test is warranted, that test is performed correctly and the risk of a false negative is reduced. If the diagnosis is confirmed, our doctors will discuss the management options available to eleviate your symptoms and get you back on your feet.