The soleus syndrome. A cause of medial tibial stress (shin splints)

R. H. Michael, L. E. Holder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radionuclide bone scans have demonstrated linear uptake along the posterior medial border of the tibia in patients with shin splints. This area was investigated by anatomical dissection (14 human cadavers), electromyographic (EMG) and muscle stimulation studies (10 patients), and open biopsy (1 patient). Histologically, the increased metabolic activity manifested on the radionuclide scan is due to a periostitis with new bone formation. The soleus muscle and its investing fascia are anatomically and biomechanically implicated in the production of these stress changes, particularly when the heel is in the pronated position. The soleus muscle and fascia form a tough 'soleus bridge' over the deep compartment which is thought to be important in patients requiring surgical decompression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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