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Am J Sports Med. 1985 May-Jun;13(3):162-70.

Chronic compartment syndrome: diagnosis, management, and outcomes.


A consecutive operative series of 100 patients with chronic compartment syndrome involving 233 compartments is reported. Seven of every eight were athletes, and runners predominated. Exercise-induced symptoms of consistently recurring tightness, aching (in some, sharp pains) in anatomically defined compartments were pathognomonic. Mean months of symptoms prior to operation was 22; median age was 26 years. Bilaterality occurred in 82. The distribution of compartments was: anterior, 39%; lateral, 12%; and posterior, 48%. Incidental compartment pressures were elevated (mean = 23 mmHg). Fasciotomy using local anesthesia was performed on 70 outpatients. At a median of 4.5 months, over 90% were cured or significantly improved in symptoms and/or function. Median time to walking unassisted was 2 days, and to resumption of conditioned running 21 days. Fasciotomy can be a safe, effective, and economical treatment for chronic compartment syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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