Chronic compartment syndrome: Diagnosis, management, and outcomes

D. E. Detmer, K. Sharpe, R. L. Sufit, F. M. Girdley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


A consecutive operative series of 100 patients with chronic compartment syndrome involving 233 compartments is reported. Seven of every eight were athletes, and runners predominated. Exercise-induced symptoms of consistently recurring tightness, aching (in some, sharp pains) in anatomically defined compartments were pathognomonic. Mean months of symptoms prior to operation was 22; median age was 26 years. Bilaterality occurred in 82. The distribution of compartments was: anterior, 39%; lateral, 12%; and posterior, 48%. Incidental compartment pressures were elevated (x̄ = 23 mmHg). Fasciotomy using local anesthesia was performed on 70 outpatients. At a median of 4.5 months, over 90% were cured or significantly improved in symptoms and/or function. Median time to walking unassisted was 2 days, and to resumption of conditioned running 21 days. Fasciotomy can be a safe, effective, and economical treatment for chronic compartment syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Chronic compartment syndrome: Diagnosis, management, and outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this