Arm pump, medically known as chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS), is a condition that can affect many types of athletes. Some of the individuals most commonly affected, however, are motocross racers. Arm pump causes cramping, severe pain, burning, weakness, numbness, and other symptoms that can make riding difficult and dangerous. While non-surgical treatment can be helpful for many, this approach requires rest and behavior modifications that may not be a suitable option for professional athletes. In many cases, arm pump surgery is recommended. Our Director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Center, Dr. Tyson Cobb, utilizes the most advanced techniques available to address CECS—most often with excellent results. He recently treated Zach Osborne, a competitive motocross racer whose arm pump symptoms were affecting his ability to compete.
Arm pump surgery is designed to release pressure on the affected muscle compartments in the forearm. This can be achieved by dividing (cutting) the fascia that encases the muscles in the forearm. The fascia is a thick, fibrous tissue that wraps around every muscle compartment in the body. Once this tissue is opened up, the nerves, arteries, and muscles have more freedom of movement, which in turn minimizes pain, swelling, and other symptoms of CECS. Dr. Cobb is extensively trained in minimally invasive techniques that can help to reduce the risk of complications and shorten recovery time. Many athletes who have had this procedure have successfully healed and returned to performing at their highest levels.
Arm pump surgery is not for everyone. If you believe you have arm pump or you are experiencing pain in your forearm, we recommend you speak to a qualified orthopaedic surgeon like Dr. Cobb to determine the best treatment plan. Click here to learn more about Arm Pump Surgery.