Acute Compartment Syndrome

(ACS; Compartment Syndrome, Acute; Volkmann’s Ischemia)

Definition

Sheets of connective tissue called fascia are located under the skin of the arms and legs. These wrap around groups of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels to create a unit called a compartment. When pressure builds up in these enclosed spaces, it is redirected into the compartment. When pressure reaches a certain point, it disrupts blood flow. Blood vessels may fail and tissue dies. Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) can affect the arms, hands, legs, feet, and buttocks.
Compartment Syndrome in Lower Leg
Compartment Syndrome
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Common causes include:
  • Vein obstructions in the extremities
  • Hemorrhage
  • Complication of surgery

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of ACS include:
  • Pre-existing condition that could lead to fatal bleeding in cases of trauma, such as:
    • Taking anticoagulants
    • Having a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia
  • Participation in certain collision or contact sports such as football
  • Bandages or casts that are worn too tightly or worn for too long
  • Recent injury to the area
  • Burns
  • Swelling of tissues under the skin

Symptoms

ACS may cause:
  • Severe pain
  • Feeling of tightness or fullness of muscles
  • Swollen, pale, shiny skin over affected area
  • Numbness or tingling
Symptoms can develop within 30 minutes-2 hours. In other cases, it may take days.

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Your bodily fluids will be tested. This can be done with blood tests.Imaging tests to evaluate bodily structures may include:The pressure inside your compartments will be measured. This can be done with:
  • Slit catheter
  • Tonometer
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals



July 2015

A randomized trial found that fecal microbiota transplantation had a higher rate of remission in patients with active ulcerative colitis than those who recieved placebo. Fecal transplantation is believed to help the intestine develop a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut which can help the intestine recover and function more effectively.

dot separator
previous editions


June 2015


May 2015

Chewing Gum After Surgery May Improve Digestive Tract Recovery
April 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook