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Two simple clinical tests for predicting onset of medial tibial stress syndrome: shin palpation test and shin oedema test
  1. Phil Newman1,
  2. Roger Adams2,
  3. Gordon Waddington1
  1. 1Department of Physiotherapy, University of Canberra, Bruce, Australia
  2. 2Department of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Phil Newman, University of Canberra, Department of Physiotherapy, 12D52, Monana Street, Bruce, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia; phillip.newman{at}canberra.edu.au

Abstract

Objective To examine the relationship between two clinical test results and future diagnosis of (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) MTSS in personnel at a military trainee establishment.

Design Data from a preparticipation musculoskeletal screening test performed on 384 Australian Defence Force Academy Officer Cadets were compared against 693 injuries reported by 326 of the Officer Cadets in the following 16 months. Data were held in an Injury Surveillance database and analysed using χ2 and Fisher's Exact tests, and Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve analysis.

Main outcome measure Diagnosis of MTSS, confirmed by an independent blinded health practitioner.

Results Both the palpation and oedema clinical tests were each found to be significant predictors for later onset of MTSS. Specifically: Shin palpation test OR 4.63, 95% CI 2.5 to 8.5, Positive Likelihood Ratio 3.38, Negative Likelihood Ratio 0.732, Pearson χ2 p<0.001; Shin oedema test OR 76.1 95% CI 9.6 to 602.7, Positive Likelihood Ratio 7.26, Negative Likelihood Ratio 0.095, Fisher's Exact p<0.001; Combined Shin Palpation Test and Shin Oedema Test Positive Likelihood Ratio 7.94, Negative Likelihood Ratio <0.001, Fisher's Exact p<0.001. Female gender was found to be an independent risk factor (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.66 to 5.31, Positive Likelihood Ratio 2.09, Negative Likelihood Ratio 0.703, Pearson χ2 p<0.001) for developing MTSS.

Conclusion The tests for MTSS employed here are components of a normal clinical examination used to diagnose MTSS. This paper confirms that these tests and female gender can also be confidently applied in predicting those in an asymptomatic population who are at greater risk of developing MTSS symptoms with activity at some point in the future.

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Footnotes

  • Funding Australian Defence Force Academy.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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