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Unrecognized Anterior Compartment Syndrome Following Ankle Fracture Surgery

A Case Report

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  • 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Hospital, Nisantasi, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • | 2 SB Sisli Etfal Egitim ve Arastirma Hastanesi II, Ortopedi Klinigi Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey.
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A 35-year-old male sustained a lateral malleolar fracture while playing football. The fracture was treated by open reduction and internal fixation with a tourniquet. The next day, the patient returned with pain and swelling of the ankle and was admitted again to the hospital with a suspected diagnosis of cellulitis. Ten hours later, the patient developed the symptoms of anterior compartment syndrome. Emergency open fasciotomy of the anterior compartment was performed. The retrospective analysis of the patient’s history was suggestive of a predisposition to an exercise-induced compartment syndrome. We think that exertional increase of the compartmental pressure before the injury and the tourniquet used during surgery contributed together to the development of compartment syndrome. Physicians should be vigilant in identifying the features of compartment syndrome when managing patients injured during a sporting activity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 438–442, 2009)

Corresponding author: Aksel Seyahi, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Hospital, Guzelbahce sok No: 20, Nisantasi, Istanbul, 34365, Turkey. (E-mail: aseyahi@gmail.com)