Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome causes a muscle to swell so that it or nearby blood vessels and nerves are damaged. Treatment of compartment syndrome will be good if it is detected in time.

When a muscle swells it becomes larger. Then it becomes too tight in the membranes or bones that surround the muscle and form muscle compartments. This is why injuries can occur. The injury is usually found in the leg or arm, but you can also get it in other body parts.

What is it?

There are two types of compartment syndrome:

  • Acute compartment syndrome causes a muscle to swell because of an injury.
  • Chronic compartment syndrome is more uncommon and is often due to exercising a muscle group too much.

You can also get compartment syndrome if it gets too tight for a muscle when you’re plastered. Then you will get more hurt and sometimes reduced feelings. It may also be difficult to move the hand or foot.

Symptoms of compartment syndrome

When you have compartment syndrome, the body part swells. It hurts both when you rest and when you exert yourself. You can also lose the feeling and have difficulty touching the damaged body part.

When and where should I seek care?

You should seek care directly at a health care center or emergency room if, after an injury, or after receiving a plaster, you suspect you have compartment syndrome.

You can contact a health care center if you get very sore and feel swollen in, for example, your arm or leg after exercising.

Treatment of compartment syndrome

In both acute and chronic compartment syndrome, you may need surgery to open the muscle compartments.

You must be operated on as soon as possible to avoid injury if you have an acute comorbid syndrome. If you suspect compartment syndrome after an injury, it may be advisable not to eat or drink in order not to delay any surgery.

When the trouble is because you exercise too much, it may be enough to train less.

When the compartment syndrome in one arm or leg is due to being plastered, the plaster is cut lengthwise to allow the swollen muscle to fit.

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