Home Injuries Compartment Syndrome

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment Syndrome

Description Of The Injury: Compartment syndrome occurs when there is pain, inflammation and pressure in the fascia compartment. Located in the front of the lower leg, the fascia compartment holds muscles, blood vessels and nerves but does not retain much flexibility. When a nearby muscle is aggravated, it may place pressure on nearby vessels and nerves causing pain, numbness and weakness. The common indicator of compartment syndrome is if the pressure in the compartment is greater than 45 mmHg

Injury Symptoms: This injury usually is characterized by an aching pain in the affected leg during exercise that may subside when resting. The leg may feel tight, numb or week.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

Conservative treatment of compartment syndrome follows the rest, ice, compression and elevation method. The affected leg should be initially rested, preferably in an elevated position right after the injury has occurred. Wrapping the leg with compression bandage may also help reduce the pooling of the blood. Ice should be administered where ever there is pain to help alleviate

Professional Medical Treatments:

If conservative treatment does not help, surgery may be needed. This will involve making incisions into the fascia to relieve the pain and pressure. This helps decompress the compartment and the wound is left open for a period of time before a second surgery is performed to close the wound properly.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

After compartment syndrome surgery, exercise should be done to recover the strength and flexibility of the calf, soleus and tibialis anterior and posterior muscles. Recovering range of motion can be done by first moving the ankle through its total range of motion and then the knee. This may include ankle pump exercises, and pressing down on a towel under the ankle to slightly push up the rest of the leg and create tension.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

Compartment syndrome may be unavoidable. However, it can be prematurely stopped once the initial signs of pain have been identified. Proper warming up and cooling down after exercise will also help. This may include standing calf raises, reverse calf raises, lunges and wall calf stretches.