Compartment syndrome is when increased pressure within a closed space in the body (a compartment) causes decreased blood flow and can result in tissue damage. It usually occurs in the limbs after traumas and fractures, which causes swelling and bleeding within the compartment. Other causes can include severe burns, plaster casts, and surgery.
Symptoms of compartment syndrome include pain, tightness or numbness, loss of pulse in the extremity, and pallor or coolness of the skin. Diagnosis is made with a physical exam and measuring the pressure within the compartment. If not treated in time, it can lead to ischemia, then permanent damage and loss of the limb.
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