Compartment Syndrome

  • Marga B. Rominger
  • Christian J. Lukosch


In 1881, Volkmann described a contracture state related to ischemia caused by trauma, tight bandaging, and swelling; in short, the late state of an ischemic compartment syndrome.1 Strictly speaking, a Volkmann’s contracture is confined to the forearm and occurs most commonly after supracondylar fracture of the humerus in children. However, some authors use Volkmann’s contracture as a synonym for a compartment syndrome regardless of the location.2 In 1941, Bywaters and Beall reported on the crushed limbs of civilian victims of London’s wartime air raids.3 When massive limb swelling, ischemic muscle necrosis, myoglobinuria, and renal failure complicated such injuries they recognized it as a clinical entity—Crush syndrome. Crush syndromes or rhabdomyolysis (lysis of skeletal muscle cells) can be a cause or complication of compartment syndrome (see Chapter 26). The formal notion of compartment syndrome was introduced in 1963 by Reszel.4


Compartment Syndrome Supracondylar Fracture Tissue Pressure Acute Compartment Syndrome Crush Syndrome 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marga B. Rominger
  • Christian J. Lukosch

There are no affiliations available

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