The classic clinical diagnosis is based on the following 6 Ps: pain, pressure, pulselessness, paralysis, paraesthesia, and pallor (uncommon). However, these signs are more often indicative of arterial ischaemia than acute extremity compartment syndrome. To recognise extremity compartment syndrome in a timely fashion, it is important to maintain a high index of suspicion and serially examine patients at risk to document changes over time. When multiple injuries are present, the diagnosis can be overlooked; therefore, when acute compartment syndrome is a concern, pressure levels should be measured. Diagnosis in patients with altered mental status and children may be occasionally challenging due to the inability to document physical findings accurately.
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