Saturday night palsy or Sunday morning hangover? A case report of alcohol-induced Crush Syndrome


Saturday night palsy is a colloquial term given to brachial plexus injuries of the arm resulting from stretching or direct pressure against a firm object, often after alcohol or drug consumption. In most circumstances, this condition gives rise to a temporary plexopathy, which generally resolves. However, if the compression is severe and prolonged, a more grave form of this condition known as ‘Crush Syndrome’ may occur. Skeletal muscle injury, brought about by protracted immobilization, leads to muscle decay, causing rhabdomyolysis, which may in turn precipitate acute renal failure. This condition is potentially fatal and has an extremely high morbidity. The case presented below demonstrates the drastic consequences that can result following an episode of ‘binge’ drinking in a young man. What is most concerning is that this trend is increasing across society and cases like this may not be as rare in the future.

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Correspondence to Joseph F. Baker.

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Devitt, B.M., Baker, J.F., Ahmed, M. et al. Saturday night palsy or Sunday morning hangover? A case report of alcohol-induced Crush Syndrome. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 131, 39–43 (2011).

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  • Compartment syndrome
  • Saturday night palsy
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Crush Syndrome