forearm compartment syndrome

29 Oct

The forearm has 3 compartments, flexor, extensor and mobile wad (near Ulna). 

Anything that can increase volume such as hemorrhage can cause compartment syndrome.

A pressure of 30-50mm Hg have traditionally been thought of as toxic if untreated for several hours.

One can also measure delta pressure, the difference between diastolic and compartment pressure (delta less than than 30mm Hg indicates compartment syndrome).

Fasciotomy is usually made with a long incision, left open and closed several days later.

Pain is typically the first symptom present of the 5 p’s (pain, paresthesia, pallor, pulselessness, poikiolthermia) of compartment syndrome.


Submitted by C. Stokes.


References: Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th Edition; Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. (2010); picture


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