chronic compartment syndrome

anterior compartment syndrome

A condition that typically arises in the anterior compartment of the lower leg, characterised by cramping, pain and tightness, often with numbness and tingling in the foot.

chronic compartment syndrome

An increase in intracompartmental pressure that may occur during exercise or other forms of exertional activity. The increased intracompartmental pressure decreases blood flow to the distal extremity and impairs nerve function.


Individuals who have herniated muscles that occlude the neurovascular network, unyielding fascia in a closed compartment, or excessive hypertrophy of muscles during exercise are predisposed to chronic compartment syndrome.


The patient will complain of pain, numbness, and weakness in the involved extremity during exercise. Inspection may also reveal cyanosis and swelling in the distal portion of the involved limb. Symptoms may subside following activity or may lead to muscle necrosis, requiring fasciotomy.

References in periodicals archive ?
The aetiology for chronic compartment syndrome relates to a limiting non-compliant fascia surrounding an affected muscle compartment.
The subcutaneous technique, used in chronic compartment syndrome, appears to be insufficient in ACS (21).
Also rule out chronic compartment syndrome, which causes a dull achy pain--typically over the anteriolateral lower leg.
The pain and swelling of chronic compartment syndrome, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is most often caused by athletic exertion.
1990) Modified criteria for the objective diagnosis of chronic compartment syndrome of the leg.
QUEBEC CITY -- Intracompartmental pressure testing is the only way to definitively diagnose chronic compartment syndrome, but the test is useless without first exercising the affected muscle, said Dr.
When our younger daughter Jessica had surgery for chronic compartment syndrome, it was a nurse anesthesist who spent time calming both patient and parents.
Styf J, Lysell E: Chronic compartment syndrome in the erector spinae muscle.
Patients with chronic compartment syndrome complain of fullness in the lower leg and a painful pressure that occurs at a specific moment in training and may persist for hours after exercise.
Confirm suspicion of chronic compartment syndrome by documenting intracompartmental pressures.

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