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J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2008 Mar-Apr;98(2):107-11.

Etiologic factors in the development of medial tibial stress syndrome: a review of the literature.

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Podiatry Department, School of Health, The University of Northampton, Northampton, England.



Medial tibial stress syndrome is a type of exercise-induced leg pain that is common in recreational and competitive athletes. Although various studies have attempted to find the exact pathogenesis of this common condition, it remains unknown.


Various theories in literature from 1976 to 2006 were reviewed using key words.


Until recently, inflammation of the periosteum due to excessive traction was thought to be the most likely cause of medial tibial stress syndrome. This periostitis has been hypothesized by some authors to be caused by the tearing away of the muscle fibers at the muscle-bone interface, although there are several suggestions as to which, if any, muscle is responsible.


Recent studies have supported the view that medial tibial stress syndrome is not an inflammatory process of the periosteum but instead a stress reaction of bone that has become painful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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