Anterior compartment syndrome of the thigh in athletes–indications for conservative treatment.
Robinson D, On E, Halperin N. J Trauma 1992 Feb;32(2):183-6.
Anterior compartment syndrome of the thigh resulting from blunt contusion without an accompanying fracture is rare. The treatment advocated for it by most authors has been surgical. However, because wound infection rates are high and loss of knee range of motion is frequent, we considered conservative treatment in selected patients. Six athletes who developed an anterior thigh compartment syndrome shortly after sustaining a blunt contusion to the quadriceps with an accompanying massive hematoma were studied prospectively. Tissue pressure, renal function, and creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) levels were closely monitored. Fasciotomy was not performed, despite sustained pressure elevations above 50 mm Hg. Neurologic function was not affected. At follow-up examination 1 year later, no limitation of joint motion nor weakness of the quadriceps were observed. Thus in selected young patients in whom an isolated anterior compartment syndrome of the thigh occurs, conservative treatment yielded results superior to fasciotomy.