Chronic exertional compartment syndrome of the forearm: a case series of 12 patients treated with fasciotomy

J S Brown, P C Wheeler, K T Boyd, M R Barnes, M J Allen

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Abstract

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome of the forearm is rare in the published literature. We report the outcome of a series of 12 patients treated with fasciotomy over a 14 year period. All patients underwent dynamic intra-compartmental pressure testing using a slit catheter technique before surgery. Raised intra-compartmental pressures on exercise, typical symptoms and the absence of other diagnoses were criteria for offering surgical intervention. The superficial flexor, deep flexor and extensor compartments were released. Median follow-up was 9.5 years (range 7 months to 12 years). Median patient-reported percentage improvement after surgery was 88% (range 0%-100%). Median time to return to full activity was 9 weeks. Eleven out of 12 patients were satisfied, very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the outcome of surgery. Fasciotomy can be an effective treatment for chronic exertional compartment syndrome of the forearm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery-European Volume
Volume36E
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • forearm
  • chronic exertional compartment syndrome
  • fasciotomy
  • outcome

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