May 28, 2008

Compartment Syndrome: Diagnosis, Causes and Treatment Methods

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Compartment syndrome is condition in which the blood supply of a particular part is impaired. Without blood supply, the affected part is damaged, and eventually it may die. The muscles and nerves that part are the ones who are mainly affected. Therefore, it is very important to detect Compartment syndrome early as possible and correct the blood supply to prevent the damage.

The initial symptoms of Compartment syndrome are pain in a particular part of the body. The pain is constant and deep. The exact location of the pain cannot be pointed out. Any stress on the affected muscles increases the pain. Commonly Compartment syndrome arises after an injury, the people who are experiencing these symptoms and have undergone a recent injury that region should get option for diagnosis.

The diagnosis can be done by testing the gauging pressure in the affected part. The pressures above 30mmHg are considered abnormal. The higher pressure shows a possibility of compartment syndrome. In such cases, the doctors would recommend fasciotomy.

The treatments for Compartment syndrome consist of surgery, medications and other therapies. Surgery is used in the cases of emergency. If the compartment pressure in the affected region increases too much then it immediate surgery is required. With the help surgery, the blood supply is restored and thus the pressure is reduced. Such a condition when surgery is required is the acute or sub acute form of Compartment syndrome.

However, in other cases where there is some time available for the doctors the other methods as well can be used. Rest in many cases is enough as after some time the compartment pressure will be restored naturally. In addition to this to rest, the stretching and elevation too are the methods, which are helpful at times.

If the rest, stretching, and elevation of the affected parts do not work then medications, which are usually anti-inflammatory, are used. They reduce the inflammation, which can be a reason form the problem or which may have arisen due to the increased compartment pressure.

However, in few cases, the above-mentioned methods do not work and therefore the pressure does not get relieved. In such case, the Compartment syndrome develops into an acute one and surgery is required.

The other treatments are usually preferred as surgery may develop complications stick chronic venous insufficiency. However, the complications do not occur commonly today as the surgery methods have become very advanced.