Extremity Compartment Syndrome

  • Karima Fitzgerald
  • Amanda E. Lee
  • Lacee Jay LaufenbergEmail author


Extremity compartment syndrome is a clinical entity which develops from an increase in pressure within a confined compartment that can lead to muscle ischemia and necrosis. The fascia overlying the muscle is non-expansible, and increasing pressure in the muscle compartment results in restriction of blood flow. Extremity compartment syndrome is typically seen in the upper and lower extremity after long bone injury. Other causes are edema secondary to prolonged limb compression, injection drug abuse leading to tissue swelling and soft tissue injury, and reperfusion injury in a previously ischemic limb. It is imperative to make the diagnosis early due to the potential for limb loss. Diagnosis is based on clinical exam or measurement of compartment pressures >20 mmHg. Treatment is emergent fasciotomy, taking care that all affected compartments are released completely.


Limb Extremity Compartment Pressure Trauma Reperfusion Ischemia Necrosis Muscle Fasciotomy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karima Fitzgerald
    • 1
  • Amanda E. Lee
    • 2
  • Lacee Jay Laufenberg
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Acute Care, and Critical Care SurgeryPenn State Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryPenn State Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA

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