There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Although some people are helped by surgery for shin splints, surgery is not always successful. Pain is often relieved without surgery.
Other treatment options can be tried before surgery. These include the use of orthotic inserts. Orthotics help stabilize the ankle joint and keep the foot from rolling inward. They can also be designed to help absorb shock. Training for strength, agility, and flexibility before and during the sports season also reduces shin splints among athletes.