Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome

Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020
Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome is increased pressure within one of the body's compartments which contains muscles and nerves. Compartment syndrome most commonly occurs in compartments in the leg or arm. There are two main types of compartment syndrome: acute and chronic.

Acute compartment syndrome occurs after a traumatic injury such as a car crash. The trauma causes a severe high pressure in the compartment which results in insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency that requires surgery to correct. If untreated, the lack of blood supply leads to permanent muscle and nerve damage and can result in the loss of function of the limb.

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an exercise-induced condition in which the pressure in the muscles increases to extreme levels during exercise. The pressure creates a decrease in blood flow to the affected area which leads to a deprivation of oxygen to the muscles. The symptoms are a sensation of extreme tightness in the affected muscles followed by a burning sensation if exercise is continued. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome usually occurs in athletes who participate in repetitive impact sports such as running.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


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Advances in orthopedics volume 2015 (2015), article id 543412, 8 pages

Review article:acute compartment syndrome in orthopedics: causes, diagnosis, and management by hasnain raza and anant mahapatra 9110||case report

Spontaneous tibial compartment syndrome mimicking dvt by parkash lohana doi:10.1016/j.injury.2005.07.002injury extravolume 37, issue 1, january 2006, pages 36–37 case report:open access:compartment syndrome of the thigh. A case report with delayed onset after stable pelvic ring fracture and chronic anticoagulation therapie by rolf d burghardt et al., bmc geriatricsbmc series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted201010:51 doi: 10.1186/1471-2318-10-51 pathophysiology and management of abdominal compartment syndrome by jeffrey walker et al., am j crit care july 2003 vol. 12 no. 4 367-371 compartment syndrome as a complication of the lithotomy position by i karmaniolou; c staikou west indian med. J. Vol.59 no.6 mona dec. 2010 peroneal nerve palsy due to compartment syndrome after facial plastic surgery by clécio o. Godeiro-júnior arq. Neuro-psiquiatr. Vol.65 no.3b são paulo sept. 2007 bo rööser (1987) quadriceps contusion with compartment syndrome: evacuation of hematoma in 2 cases, acta orthopaedica scandinavica, 58:2, 170-172, doi: 10.3109/17453678709146462 to link to this article: exertional compartment syndrome: myths, misconceptions, and fallacies consultant. 2015;55(6):450-456 asia-pacific journal of sports medicine, arthroscopy, rehabilitation and technology volume 2, issue 3, july 2015, pages 73–84 116687||review article:exercise-induced leg pain by davide edoardo bonasia doi:10.1016/j.asmart.2015.03.003

Shaheen aw, crandall ml, nicolson ng, smith-singares e, merlotti gj, jalundhwala y, issa nm. Abdominal compartment syndrome in trauma patients: new insights for predicting outcomes. J emerg trauma shock [serial online] 2016 [cited 2016 may 4];9:53-7. Available from: cleva r de et al. – acute renal failure due to abdominal compartment syndrome: report on four cases and literature review. Rev. Hosp. Clín. Fac. Med. S. Paulo 56(4):123-130, 2001. research:open access lower extremity compartment syndrome in the acute care surgery paradigm: safety lessons learned by jeffry l kashuk et al., patient safety in surgery20093:11 doi: 10.1186/1754-9493-3-11 rev. Bras. Ortop. Vol.50 no.4 são paulo july/aug. 2015 case report:compartment syndrome after total knee arthroplasty: regarding a clinical case by ana alexandra da costa pinheiro et al review,open access a case report of thoracic compartment syndrome in the setting of penetrating chest trauma and review of the literature by michael w wandling and gary c an world journal of emergency surgery20105:22 doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-5-22

Chandraprakasam t, kumar r a. Acute compartment syndrome of forearm and hand. Indian j plast surg [serial online] 2011 [cited 2016 may 4];44:212-8. Available from:

Chhabra p, gupta n, kaushik a. Compartment syndrome as a spectrum of purple glove syndrome following intravenous phenytoin administration in a young male: a case report and review of literature. Neurol india [serial online] 2013 [cited 2016 may 4];61:419-20. Available from:


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