Noninvasive measurement of compartment syndrome

Orthopedics. 2003 Dec;26(12):1215-8. doi: 10.3928/0147-7447-20031201-11.


This study compared the effectiveness of a commercially available invasive intracompartmental pressure measuring device with an investigational noninvasive hardness measuring device in 75 patients undergoing examination for possible compartment syndrome. Legs, forearms, thighs, and arms were tested. Pressure values and hardness ratios were compared to one another as continuous variables and to the clinical diagnosis of compartment syndrome as discrete variables. The compartment with the highest pressure reading within a limb diagnosed with compartment syndrome was compared to limbs without compartment syndrome. Due to the low specificity of the noninvasive measurement of hardness compared to the invasive pressure measurement (0.82 versus 0.96), this study does not support the use of the hardness monitor in the diagnosis of compartment syndrome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Compartment Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Hardness Tests / instrumentation
  • Hardness Tests / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure
  • Sensitivity and Specificity