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Foot Ankle Clin. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2009.11.003.

Compartment syndrome and lower-limb fasciotomies in the combat environment.

Author information

  • 1LTC Kevin L. Kirk, DO, Chief, Integrated Orthopedic Surgery Service San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


Prophylactic and therapeutic treatment of leg compartment syndrome with decompression by double-incision fasciotomy prevents progression of soft-tissue injury in high-energy trauma. This treatment is the standard of care in civilian trauma and combat settings. More controversial is the use of either single- or dual-incision fasciotomy of the foot for prophylactic treatment of foot compartment syndrome. Fasciotomy must be performed in the face of major trauma to the foot with severe swelling and unremitting pain. The role for prophylactic fasciotomy of the foot is unclear and should be considered on a case by case basis. The surgeon must maintain a high degree of vigilance for the development of compartment syndrome in the combat casualty.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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