"Shin splints" is not a specific diagnosis. It is merely a descriptive term that describes chronic exertional shin pain in an athlete. The evidence seems clear that shin splint pain has many different causes and this reflects the variation in the anatomy. It would be preferable to describe shin splint pain by location and aetiology, for example, lower medial tibial pain due to periostitis or upper lateral tibial pain due to elevated compartment pressure. This would aid communication between physicians and also direct therapy more accurately.
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