The Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Current Management of Acute Compartment Syndrome
James Donaldson*, 1, Behrooz Haddad 2, Wasim S Khan 2
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2014
Issue: Suppl 1
First Page: 185
Last Page: 193
Publisher ID: TOORTHJ-8-185
Article History:Received Date: 23/2/2014
Revision Received Date: 2/3/2014
Acceptance Date: 11/4/2014
Electronic publication date: 27 /6/2014
Collection year: 2014
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/) which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) is a surgical emergency warranting prompt evaluation and treatment. It can occur with any elevation in interstitial pressure in a closed osseo-fascial compartment. Resultant ischaemic damage may be irreversible within six hours and can result in long-term morbidity and even death. The diagnosis is largely clinical with the classical description of ‘pain out of proportion to the injury’. Compartment pressure monitors can be a helpful adjunct where the diagnosis is in doubt. Initial treatment is with the removal of any constricting dressings or casts, avoiding hypotension and optimizing tissue perfusion by keeping the limb at heart level. If symptoms persist, definitive treatment is necessary with timely surgical decompression of all the involved compartments. This article reviews the pathophysiology, diagnosis and current management of ACS.