What causes pain in compartment syndrome?
Compartment syndrome is a painful and potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles – known as a muscle compartment.
Each group of muscles in the arms and legs, together with nearby blood vessels and nerves, is contained in a space surrounded by tissue called fascia..
When should I be concerned about compartment syndrome?
Acute compartment syndrome is a true emergency. If the pressure within the compartment is not released within a few hours, permanent muscle and nerve damage may occur. Medical care should be accessed when numbness, tingling, weakness, or excessive pain occurs after an injury.
What is the hallmark sign of compartment syndrome?
There are five characteristic signs and symptoms related to acute compartment syndrome: pain, paraesthesia (reduced sensation), paralysis, pallor, and pulselessness. Pain and paresthesia are the early symptoms of compartment syndrome.
How do you rule out compartment syndrome?
To diagnose chronic compartment syndrome, your doctor must rule out other conditions that could also cause pain in the lower leg. For example, your doctor may press on your tendons to make sure you do not have tendonitis. He or she may order an X-ray to make sure your shinbone (tibia) does not have a stress fracture.
How do you check pressure in compartment syndrome?
Compartment Pressure Testing To perform this test, a doctor first injects a small amount of anesthesia into the affected muscles to numb them. He or she inserts a handheld device attached to a needle into the muscle compartment to measure the amount of pressure inside the compartment.
Is compartment syndrome pressure test painful?
The number of times the needle is inserted depends on the location of the symptoms. The doctor then has the patient run (or perform any activity that recreates the symptoms) and retests the pressures. Compartment testing can be painful, but the discomfort typically goes away once the test is completed.