The use of a tourniquet may be followed by an acute compartment syndrome in the treated limb.

Patient selection: tourniquet use, either for trauma or during orthopedic surgery


Pathophysiology: ischemia and/or reperfusion



(1) problem with tourniquet application or patient positioning (applied to long, excessive pressure, etc)

(2) pain the affected limb (if the patient conscious and no regional block) and swelling

(3) elevated compartment pressures

(4) exclusion of other diagnoses that can explain the findings


The syndromemay be reversible if recognized early and adjustments are made.

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