Acute compartment syndrome of the lower limb and the effect of postoperative analgesia on diagnosis.
GJ Mar, MJ Barrington, BR McGuirk
British Journal of Anaesthesia | Published : 2009
Acute compartment syndrome can cause significant disability if not treated early, but the diagnosis is challenging. This systematic review examines whether modern acute pain management techniques contribute to delayed diagnosis. A total of 28 case reports and case series were identified which referred to the influence of analgesic technique on the diagnosis of compartment syndrome, of which 23 discussed epidural analgesia. In 32 of 35 patients, classic signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome were present in the presence of epidural analgesia, including 18 patients with documented breakthrough pain. There were no randomized controlled trials or outcome-based comparative trials available to..View full abstract