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, 30 (4), 581-8

Long-term Outcome of Fasciotomy With Partial Fasciectomy for Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome of the Lower Leg

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Long-term Outcome of Fasciotomy With Partial Fasciectomy for Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome of the Lower Leg

Drew Slimmon et al. Am J Sports Med.

Abstract

Background: Fasciotomy with partial fasciectomy for compartment syndrome has had good short-term results, but no long-term studies have been performed.

Hypothesis: Combining a partial fasciectomy with fasciotomy for compartment syndrome relieves pain and eliminates symptoms in the long term.

Study design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was given to 62 patients at a mean follow-up of 51 months after surgery.

Results: Of the 50 patients who underwent a single operation, 60% (30) reported an excellent or good outcome. Average pain and pain-on-running were significantly reduced, although some subjects still reported considerable levels of pain. Fifty-eight percent (36 of 62) were exercising at a lower level than before injury and, of these, 36% (13) cited the return of their compartment syndrome or the development of a different lower leg compartment syndrome as the reason for a reduction in exercise levels. Some subjects indicated early initial improvement followed by subsequent deterioration.

Conclusion: This surgical technique reduces pain and allows the majority of patients to return to sports; however, patients should be counseled that they may not be able to return to their preinjury level of exercise or remain pain-free.

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