The foot is subject to a compartment syndrome following injury. A delay in detection or management can result in tissue necrosis and permanent functional impairment.


Clinical features of the foot compartment syndrome:

(1) history of crush injury

(2) swelling of the foot with tense overlying skin

(3) pain in the foot that is poorly responsive to analgesics

(4) pain aggravated by passive dorsiflexion of the toes


The presence of clinical features suggesting the compartment syndrome is an indication for performing invasive measurement of compartment pressures. Any pressure > 30 mm Hg supports the diagnosis of a compartment syndrome.


The diagnosis is confirmed by pain relief following incisions to decompress the affected compartment(s).


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