Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Compartment Syndrome in Children

Abstract

Sustained increased pressure within the fascial compartments of a limb may result in an acute compartment syndrome. The typical clinical setting of such a syndrome involves a traumatic injury to an extremity. Although increased compartment pressures are most often seen after a fracture, their other typical etiologies include significant soft-tissue trauma, sepsis, animal bites, vascular reconstruction, and elective orthopaedic procedures. This article provides a review of the pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for acute compartment syndrome in children. The timely diagnosis and treatment of this condition affords the greatest likelihood of an optimal outcome, without long-term sequelae or functional limitations.

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