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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-15

The prevalence and pattern of acute compartment syndrome of the limbs in a private orthopedic and trauma center, Southeast, Nigeria: 8 years retrospective study

1 Department of Surgery, Imo State University, Owerri; Department of Surgery, First Choice Specialist Hospital, Nkpor, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Thaddeus Chika Agu
Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria. First Choice Specialist Hospital, Nkpor
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1597-1112.192844

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Background: Acute compartment syndrome of the limb is an orthopedic emergency. The leg compartments, usually following fracture of the tibia are most commonly implicated. Study Design and Setting: This is a retrospective study on the scope of compartment syndrome among patients with limbs traumas who were treated between October 2007 and September 2015 in a private orthopedic and trauma center situated in a highly populated south eastern Nigerian city. Patients and Methods: The medical records as well as data from the operation register master list of patients with limb injuries were studied. Limb injuries considered significant enough for in-hospital treatments with or without other associated system injuries were included while patients with any form of arterial disease or claudication were excluded. Results: A total of 1362 patients met the inclusion criteria. Fourteen patients (1.02%) had acute compartment syndrome. The commonest underlying pathology was fracture of the tibia in eight patients (57%). Two patients (14%) were due to tight traditional bone setters' splints and one (7%) was from burns eschar. There was a slight male predominance and young adults in their primes were mostly affected. Conclusion: Acute compartment syndrome of the limb is not very common. Early clinical diagnoses in the absence of the pressure monitoring equipment is recommended and emergency fasciotomies are necessary to salvage the limbs.

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