Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Compartment Syndrome Evaluation

The evaluation of compartment syndrome begins with a medical history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with compartment syndrome may include:

  • Pale fingers or toes
  • Decreased pulse in the affected extremity
  • Poor capillary refill
  • Decreased sensation in the affected extremity

The diagnosis of compartment syndrome usually requires testing.

Tests that are used to evaluate compartment syndrome include:
  • Measurement of the pressure within the compartment: can be done with a needle, catheter and water pressure measurement device.

Continue to Compartment Syndrome Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Compartment Syndrome References
  1. Cascio BM, Wilckens JH, Ain MC, Toulson C, Frassica FJ. Documentation of acute compartment syndrome at an academic health-care center. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 Feb;87(2):346-50. [15687158]
  2. Heidepriem RW, Frey SE, Robinson D, Tapscott WJ, Spence RK. Thigh compartment syndrome: diagnosis and surgical treatment. Vascular. 2004 Jul-Aug;12(4):271-2. [15704323]
  3. Kostler W, Strohm PC, Sudkamp NP. Acute compartment syndrome of the limb. Injury. 2004 Dec;35(12):1221-7. [15561110]
  4. Shah SN, Miller BS, Kuhn JE. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Am J Orthop. 2004 Jul;33(7):335-41. [15344575]
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