Nineteen Oregon high school football players required medical attention this past week after complaining of intense muscle soreness. Three of the players required surgery after they were diagnosed with compartment syndrome, which is about as close to a physical nightmare as we can imagine.
The condition results “from the expansion or overgrowth of enclosed tissue within its anatomical enclosure (as a muscular sheath) producing pressure that interferes with circulation and adversely affects the function and health of the tissue itself.” Yes, that means the muscle grows too large for the space available inside the body. The team members are reported to be recovering and in good condition, according to the Associated Press.
One possible cause of the mysterious group affliction is an abnormally high level of creatine kinase, an enzyme related to muscle repair. You’ve probably heard of creatine as a supplement in energy drinks and fitness formulas. An investigation into the details of the unfortunate situation is underway.
A more complex situation involves Washington Redskins lineman Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth has a penchant for personal drama, but the muscle illness he says is affecting his knee can be serious. Rhabdomyolysis is “the destruction or degeneration of skeletal muscle tissue that is accompanied by the release of muscle cell contents (as myoglobin and potassium) into the bloodstream resulting in hypovolemia, hyperkalemia, and sometimes acute renal failure.”
This disease causes muscle tissue to break down and some of its ingredients to enter the bloodstream and interfere with the processes for keeping blood and muscle healthy. Hypovolemia is a “decrease in the volume of the circulating blood.” Hyperkalemia is “an abnormally high concentration of potassium in the blood.” Renal is a term that describes kidney function.
We wish all of these athletes a rapid and full recovery. An illness that is on many people’s minds right now is salmonella due to the recall of millions of contaminated eggs. Learn the meaning and symptoms of salmonella, here.