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J Med Case Rep. 2011 Apr 22;5:161. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-5-161.

Acute lower limb compartment syndrome after Cesarean section: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany. marc.radosa@med.uni-jena.de.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Acute compartment syndrome of the lower limb is a rare but severe intra- and post-partum complication. Prompt diagnosis is essential to avoid permanent functional restriction or even the loss of the affected limb. Clinical signs and symptoms might be nonspecific, especially in the early stages; therefore, knowledge of predisposing risk factors can be helpful.

CASE PRESENTATION:

We present the case of a 32-year-old Caucasian woman with acute post-partum compartment syndrome.

CONCLUSION:

Acute compartment syndrome is an important differential diagnosis for the sudden onset of intra- or post-partum lower-limb pain. Predisposing factors for the manifestation of acute compartment syndrome in an obstetric environment are augmented intra-partum blood loss, prolonged hypotensive episodes and the use of oxytocin to support or induce labor because of its vasoconstrictive properties. Treatment is prompt surgical decompression by performing fasciotomy in any affected muscular compartments.

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