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Arthrosc Tech. 2013 May 23;2(2):e187-90. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2013.02.002. Print 2013 May.

Endoscopic compartment release for chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.


Exertional compartment syndrome of the leg is a condition that can cause chronic debilitating pain in active persons during a variety of aerobic activities. Nonoperative treatments using stretching protocols and activity modifications are often unsuccessful, and thus several operative strategies have been used to treat this condition. A novel technique for endoscopically assisted fasciotomy for chronic exertional compartment syndrome is described. By use of a small laterally based incision and an arthroscope, polydioxanone sutures are passed percutaneously along the anterior and lateral compartments with the Spectrum suture-shuttling device (ConMed Linvatec, Largo, FL). These sutures are used to retract the skin and subcutaneous tissues over the respective compartments. This method allows excellent visualization of the intercompartmental septum, the superficial peroneal nerve, and all perforating vessels. The anterior and lateral compartments can be safely and completely released with this minimally invasive approach. The patient is allowed to return to full activity at 6 weeks postoperatively, because of the decreased soft-tissue disruption.

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