Common Compartment Syndromes in Athletes
- 46 Downloads
Compartment syndromes in athletes are rare, but they can also be limb-threatening events. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) is a less emergent form where symptoms recur with repetitive loading or exertional activities. CECS is the most common form of compartment syndrome seen in athletes. Acute compartment syndromes may also occur in athletes secondary to direct trauma or may develop from pre-existing CECS.
The leg is by far the most common site of compartment syndrome in athletes. The thigh, forearm, and foot are the next most common sites, although any fascially limited compartment can be affected. Awareness of the clinical presentation and pathophysiology of compartment syndromes can help the examiner make a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
The treatment of acute compartment syndrome is emergent while the treatment of CECS is not. Conservative treatment and rehabilitation can be successful in treating CECS. Acute compartment syndromes must be treated immediately with surgical decompression. With CECS, if conservative treatment fails, surgical decompression is also indicated. Some authors have suggested that the results of surgical fasciotomy and rate of return to sport for athletes with CECS has not been uniform. If the diagnosis is accurate and carefully documented, a high degree of success with athletes returning to sport can be expected.
KeywordsCompartment Syndrome Acute Compartment Syndrome Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome Supracondylar Humerus Fracture Intracompartmental Pressure
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bird C, McCoy J. Weightlifting as a cause of compartment syndrome in the forearm. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery — American Volume 65: 406, 1983Google Scholar
- Colisimo AJ, Ireland ML. Thigh compartment syndrome in a football athlete: a case report and review of the literature. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 24(9): 958–963, 1992Google Scholar
- Eisele SA, Sammarco GJ. Chronic exertional compartment syndromes. In Heckman (Ed.) Instructional course lectures, Vol. 42, pp. 213–217, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Park Ridge, 1993Google Scholar
- Henry AK. Exposures of long bones and other surgical methods, John Wright & Sons Ltd, Bristol, 1927Google Scholar
- Heppenstall RB, Sapega AA, Scott R, Shenton D, Park YS, et al. The compartment syndrome: an experimental and clinical study of muscular energy metabolism using phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 226: 138–155, 1986Google Scholar
- Matsen FA. Compartmental syndromes, Grune and Stratton, New York, 1980Google Scholar
- Matsen FA, Winquist RA, Krugmire RB. Diagnosis and management of compartment syndromes. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery — American Volume 62: 286–291, 1980Google Scholar
- Mubarak SJ. Compartment syndromes and Volkmann’s contracture. WB Saunders, Philadelphia, 1981Google Scholar
- Mubarak SJ, Carroll NC. Volkmann’s contracture in children: aetiology and prevention. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery — British Volume 61: 285–293, 1979Google Scholar
- Mubarak SJ, Owen CA. Double incision fasciotomy of the leg for decompression of compartment syndromes. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery — American Volume 59: 184–187, 1977Google Scholar
- Rorabeck CH. Diagnosis and management of compartment syndromes. AAOS instuctional course lectures, pp. 466–472, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Park Ridge, 1989Google Scholar
- von Volkmann R. Die ischaemischen Muskellahmungen und Kontrakturen. Zentralblatt für Chirurgie 8: 801–803, 1881Google Scholar