Compartment Syndrome of the Foot


Compartment syndrome of the foot is a severe potential complication of foot trauma that can lead to significant levels of morbidity, including pain, contractures, neuropathy, and loss of function. Although compartment syndrome of the foot is less common than compartment syndrome of the leg or forearm, the consequences of this condition can be significant. Compartment syndrome of the foot can develop from a number of injury patterns, including crush injuries, vascular insults, reperfusion injuries, and high-energy foot trauma. Typical symptoms and signs of compartment syndrome of the foot are swelling and pain out of proportion to the injury. The diagnosis is primarily based on clinical findings, and should be focused and thorough, particularly because the foot has multiple myofascial compartments that potentially could be affected. A high index of suspicion coupled with early diagnosis and rapid decompression of affected compartments are therefore required for successful treatment. In this article, we review recent studies on compartment syndrome of the foot, highlighting current existing controversies regarding diagnosis and treatment.

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