What Do You Do If You Suspect Compartment Syndrome?

How do you test for compartment syndrome?

Compartment Pressure Testing To perform this test, a doctor first injects a small amount of anesthesia into the affected muscles to numb them.

He or she inserts a handheld device attached to a needle into the muscle compartment to measure the amount of pressure inside the compartment..

When should I be concerned about compartment syndrome?

Acute compartment syndrome is a true emergency. If the pressure within the compartment is not released within a few hours, permanent muscle and nerve damage may occur. Medical care should be accessed when numbness, tingling, weakness, or excessive pain occurs after an injury.

How long does it take for compartment syndrome to develop?

Acute compartment syndrome typically occurs within a few hours of inciting trauma. However, it can present up to 48 hours after. The earliest objective physical finding is the tense, or ”wood-like” feeling of the involved compartment. Pain is typically severe, out of proportion to the injury.

What is the hallmark sign of compartment syndrome?

There are five characteristic signs and symptoms related to acute compartment syndrome: pain, paraesthesia (reduced sensation), paralysis, pallor, and pulselessness. Pain and paresthesia are the early symptoms of compartment syndrome.

What does compartment syndrome look like?

The signs and symptoms associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome can include: Aching, burning or cramping pain in a specific area (compartment) of the affected limb — usually the lower leg. Tightness in the affected limb. Numbness or tingling in the affected limb.

What is the most reliable indication of compartment syndrome?

Common symptoms observed in compartment syndrome include a feeling of tightness and swelling. Pain with certain movements, particularly passive stretching of the muscles, is the earliest clinical indicator of compartment syndrome. A patient may report pain with active flexion.

How do you treat compartment syndrome?

The only option to treat acute compartment syndrome is surgery. The procedure, called a fasciotomy, involves a surgeon cutting open the skin and the fascia to relieve the pressure. Options to treat chronic compartment syndrome include physiotherapy, shoe inserts, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Can compartment syndrome resolve on its own?

To diagnose chronic compartment syndrome your doctor will measure the pressures in your compartment, after ruling out other conditions like tendinitis or a stress fracture. This condition can resolve itself after discontinuing activity. Other treatment options are nonsurgical: Physical therapy.

Do you elevate compartment syndrome?

If a developing compartment syndrome is suspected, place the affected limb or limbs at the level of the heart. Elevation is contraindicated because it decreases arterial flow and narrows the arterial-venous pressure gradient.

What happens if compartment syndrome goes untreated?

Compartment syndrome can develop when there’s bleeding or swelling within a compartment. This can cause pressure to build up inside the compartment, which can prevent blood flow. It can cause permanent damage if left untreated, as the muscles and nerves won’t get the nutrients and oxygen they need.

How long does it take for compartment syndrome to heal?

Complete recovery from compartment syndrome typically takes three or four months.

Do compression socks help with compartment syndrome?

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is the result of increased pressure in one or more of the 4 compartments in each lower leg. Since the basic problem is increase in muscle compartment pressures, compression stockings will likely not help with your symptoms.

What are the two types of compartment syndrome?

There are two types of compartment syndrome: acute and chronic.