The evaluation and treatment ofexertional compartment syndrome
Exertional compartment syndrome (ECS) is becoming increasingly recognized as a cause of exercise-induced legpain in the athletic population. Unfortunately, the pathophysiology is not clearly understood. The use of 31P-NMR has shown that ischemia is not a significant component of ECS because it is in the acute syndrome. A primary diagnosis can be made after a thorough history and physical examination. In a young patient with leg pain that is only exercise induced, reproducible and associated with a normal physical examination, a diagnosis of ECS is likely and does not need to be a diagnosis of exclusion. Confirmation with intracompartmental pressure measurement still remains the gold standard before further management. Nonoperative management is usually ineffective and fasciotomies of the affected leg(s) and compartment is the recommended treatment in the symptomatic patient. At our center, the use of a two-incision anterior and lateral compartment release, and a one-incision posterior compartment release has been very successful in returning athletes symptom free to their sporting level. © 1995 W. B. Saunders Company.
Raja Rampersaud, Y; Amendola, A
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