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J Emerg Med. 2015 Mar;48(3):325-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Dec 16.

Lateral canthotomy and cantholysis: emergency management of orbital compartment syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Orbital compartment syndrome is a sight-threatening emergency. Vision may be preserved when timely intervention is performed.

OBJECTIVE:

To present a case of orbital compartment syndrome caused by traumatic retrobulbar hemorrhage and the procedure of lateral canthotomy and cantholysis, reviewed with photographic illustration.

DISCUSSION:

Lateral canthotomy and cantholysis are readily performed at the bedside with simple instruments. The procedure may prevent irreversible blindness in cases of acute orbital compartment syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS:

Emergency physicians should be familiar with lateral canthotomy and cantholysis in the management of orbital compartment syndrome to minimize the chance of irreversible visual loss.

KEYWORDS:

cantholysis; canthotomy; lateral canthotomy; ocular trauma; orbital compartment syndrome; retrobulbar hemorrhage

PMID:
25524455
DOI:
10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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