Summary: Compartmental syndromes are reported in 24 children after injuries and surgery. In these cases, increased tissue pressure compromised local perfusion and neuromuscular function. Compartmental syndromes occurred in the interosseous compartments of the hand, the volar and dorsal compartments of the forearm, and the four compartments of the leg. The most common etiologies were fracture, vascular injury, and tibial osteotomy. In many instances, clinical data were sufficient to establish the diagnosis. However, in young patients or in patients with neurologic or vascular injuries, tissue pressure measurement helped to resolve otherwise ambiguous findings. The most significant determinant of the quality of the end result was the duration of the compartmental syndrome prior to surgical decompression. We conclude that prompt diagnosis and decompression of compartmental syndromes can minimize the sequela from these conditions.
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