A condemnation of subcutaneous fasciotomy.
Controversy exists regarding the indications and methods for lower-extremity fasciotomy. Two recent cases at our institution in which recurrent, acute limb-threatening ischemia occurred despite adequate fascial division have convinced us that in certain situations subcutaneous fasciotomy is clearly inadequate. In both patients, both of whom were young, intact healthy skin between the lower extent of the incision and the malleolus acted as a tourniquet, causing recurrent compartment syndrome as reperfusion edema occurred after initial repair. We believe that therapeutic fasciotomy in young patients with relatively noncompliant skin should include division of skin from the knee to the ankle on at least one side to prevent a tourniquet effect by intact skin at the ankle.
Illig, KA; Ouriel, K; DeWeese, JA; Shortell, CK; Green, RM
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