Update and Review of Acute Compartment Syndrome and Necrotizing Fasciitis

Selina R Silva, Paul Johnson, Justin Ocksrider


This is a brief review of the etiology, diagnosis, treatment and outcome for patients with either acute compartment syndrome or necrotizing fasciitis.  Both can be devastating to the extremities and can result in permanent impairment or amputation.  Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to prevent permanent damage.  Both can also affect the head or trunk of the body, but this review will focus primarily on the involvement of the extremities.  Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) is a condition where osseofascial compartment pressures rise to a point that overcomes capillary perfusion pressure. The lack of tissue perfusion in ACS results in tissue ischemia and necrosis, which can lead to permanent loss of muscle function, nerve damage, limb amputation, and multisystem organ failure.  Necrotizing fasciitis is a severe form of subcutaneous cellular infection with spread to and along the subcutaneous and fascial layers.  Because of its location along the fascial plane and its often polymicrobial nature, it can quickly progress in severity and become a life-threatening disease.


Compartment Syndrome; Necrotizing Fasciitis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18103/imr.v3i2.356


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