Chronic Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a clinical condition in which increased pressure within a closed anatomical space (compartment) compromises the circulation and function of the tissues within that space. This compromise in circulation may result in temporary or permanent damage to muscles and nerves. Chronic compartment syndrome (CCS) is an exercise-induced condition characterized by recurrent pain and disability. Activities that trigger chronic compartment syndrome include running and biking. In chronic compartment syndrome, there is generally pain with exercise and symptoms typically reduce with rest.

All theories concerning the cause of CCS propose that an increase in tissue pressure to a critical level results in a compromise in tissue perfusion. This increased tissue pressure may result from limited or decreased compartment volume – tight thickened fascia, increased compartment content- muscle swelling and hypertrophy, or externally applied pressure- taping or casts.

Assessment using laser Doppler can be beneficial in clinical research involving chronic compartment syndrome.

Related articles:

Abraham P, Leftheriotis G, Saumet JL.
Laser Doppler flowmetry in the diagnosis of chronic compartment syndrome
J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1998 Mar;80(2):365-9.

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