Compartment Syndrome Following Lower Limb Arthroplasty: A Review

Nikolaos G Lasanianos1, Nikolaos K Kanakaris1, Craig S Roberts2, Peter V Giannoudis*, 1
1 Academic Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
2 Academic Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA

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© Lasanianos et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Academic Department of Trauma & Orthopaedics, Leeds General Infirmary, Clarendon wing, Level A, Great George Street, LS1 3EX, Leeds, UK; Tel: +44-113-3922750; Fax: 0044-113-3923290; E-mail:


Compartment syndrome is an urgent clinical entity characterised by an increase in the interstitial pressure within a closed osseofascial compartment. Although well recognised as a potential complication after orthopaedic trauma, it is very rarely presented after elective orthopaedic surgery and especially joint arthroplasty. In these rare cases a number of variables are associated with it (positioning, coagulopathy, extensive soft tissue dissection, previous scarring, and epidural analgesia). In this study we present the current evidence with regard to incidence and causation of compartment syndrome after lower limb joint arthroplasty and make recommendations on how to avoid the development of this devastating complication.

Keywords: Hip, knee, arthroplasty, TKA, THA, compartment syndrome, review.