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Flashcards in Compartment syndrome Deck (7)
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What is compartment syndrome?

Complication following fractures or ischaemic reperfusion injury

  • Increased pressure within a muscle compartment
  • Decreased tissue perfusion
  • Necrosis; nerve damage


Give three presenting features of acute compartment syndrome

Usually occurs within 48hr of injury:

  • Increased pain despite fracture immobilisation
    • Excessive pain on passive movement
  • Parasthesia in distribution within compartment
  • Muscle tenderness and swelling
  • Tissue ischaemia (late)
    • Pallor
    • May have pulses due to microvascular compromise


Name two differential diagnoses for acute compartment syndrome

  • Peripheral oedema
  • Infection
  • DVT


Request two investigations for acute compartment syndrome

Measure intracompartmental pressure:

  • e.g Wick catheter; needle manometry; side-ported needles
  • >20mmHg is abnormal
  • >40mmHg is diagnositic


Outline the management of acute compartment syndrome

  • Urgent extensive fasciotomies
  • Continuous pressure monitoring
  • Debridement of necrosis; consider amputation
    • Muscle death occurs within 4-6h
  • Aggressive IV fluids
    • Risk of AKI due to myoglobinuria


Name two complications of acute compartment syndrome

  • Amputation
  • AKI
  • Ischaemic contracture


What clinical sign is often seen with compartment syndrome of the lower limb?

Foot drop

Damage to the common fibular nerve