Compartment syndrome of extremities

Last reviewed: 25 Aug 2022
Last updated: 26 Jun 2019

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Other diagnostic factors

  • pain
  • pressure (muscle tightness)
  • paresthesia
  • pulselessness
  • pallor
  • paralysis
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • trauma
  • bleeding disorder
  • compression support
  • thermal injury
  • intense muscular activity
  • extravasation of intravenous infusion
  • venous obstruction
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • compartment pressure measurement
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • serum creatine kinase
  • urine myoglobin
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

acute with occlusive dressing

acute without occlusive dressing

ONGOING

chronic

Contributors

Authors

Miren A. Schinco, MD, FACS

Critical Care Surgeon

WakeMed Hospital

Rayleigh

NC

Disclosures

MAS declares that she has no competing interests.

Victor J. Hassid, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Plastic Surgery

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Houston

TX

Disclosures

VJH declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Leslie Klenerman, ChM, FRCSEd, FRCSEng

Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery

University of Liverpool

Liverpool

Associate Editor

British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

London

UK

Disclosures

LK declares that he has no competing interests.

Timothy Humphries, MD

Associate Program Director

Atlanta Medical Center

Department of General Surgery

Atlanta

GA

Disclosures

Not disclosed.

  • Differentials

    • Deep vein thrombosis
    • Stress fracture
    • Acute ischemia
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • Management of acute compartment syndrome
    • Clinical practice guidelines for the management of acute limb compartment syndrome following trauma
    More Guidelines
  • Patient leaflets

    Burns

    More Patient leaflets
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