Compartment Syndrome? What's that?

November 28, 2011

The answer is that it’s an exercise-related injury that’s fairly unusual in day-to-day life, but getting on for common in military training. Muscle is made up of a series of compartments containing muscle tissue, blood vessels and nerves, and separated by fascia – thick, tough layers of tissue. With heavy exercise (tabbing, for example), the compartments can swell, but the fascia don’t: imagine putting a tourniquet round a finger, then banging the end on the table. The pain is excruciating, and doesn’t go away with a paracetamol and brufen, or putting your feet up. Surgery is usually needed to prevent the muscle dying, so you need to get to a doctor fast. It can cause long-term and very serious damage – especially when untreated, which is why we see so many military compensation claims for Compartment Syndrome.

Posted by: Philippa Tuckman

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