Friday, October 28, 2005

I thought y'all would like some more information on compartment syndrome, since not a lot of people have even heard of it:

Compartment syndrome is a painful condition that results when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. This prevents nourishment from reaching nerve and muscle cells. Muscle groups in the arms, hands, legs, feet and buttocks can be affected. Within these muscle groups are nerves and blood vessels. They are covered by tough membrane (fascia), which does not readily expand. The whole unit is called a compartment. If pressure within the compartment gets too high (for example, from too much swelling or bleeding after surgery or injury), it can damage blood vessels and nerve and muscle cells.
Compartment syndrome can be either acute or chronic. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency. Without treatment, it can lead to paralysis, loss of limb or death. Chronic compartment syndrome is not a medical emergency.....
Chronic compartment syndrome: Chronic compartment syndrome is characterized by pain and swelling caused by exercise. It can be a significant problem for an athlete. It gets better when you rest. It usually occurs in the leg. It is occasionally accompanied by numbness or difficulty in moving the foot. Symptoms dissipate quickly when activity stops. Compartment pressures may remain elevated for some time afterwards.
A combination of signs and symptoms characterize compartment syndrome. The classic sign of acute compartment syndrome is pain, especially when the muscle is stretched.
The pain may be intensely out of proportion to the injury, especially if no bone is broken.
There may also be a tingling or burning sensation (paresthesias) in the muscle.
The muscle may feel tight or full.
If the area becomes numb or paralysis sets in, cell death has begun and efforts to lower the pressure in the compartment may not be successful in restoring function.
See your doctor right away if there is concern about the development of compartment syndrome. He or she has instruments that measure the compartment pressure. The doctor uses the result to determine if you have compartment syndrome and whether you need surgery.
To diagnose chronic compartment syndrome, the doctor must rule out other conditions that could also cause pain in the lower leg. These may include stress fractures of the shinbone (tibia) and tendinitis. To diagnose chronic compartment syndrome, the physician measures the intramuscular pressure before exercise, one minute after exercise, and five minutes after exercise. If pressures remain high, you have chronic compartment syndrome. Non-surgical treatment is usually effective for this condition. This includes:
Avoiding doing activities that cause pain and swelling
Applying ice and elevating the limb slightly
Taking aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation
Do not wrap the leg because this will increase the pressure and aggravate the condition. Ask your doctor if cross-training with low-impact activities is OK as long as symptoms do not return. Surgical release may be needed if conservative treatment is ineffective.
Treatment Options: Surgical
If surgery is required to relieve the pressure, the physician will make an incision and cut open the skin and fascia covering the affected compartment. This allows excess fluids to drain, reducing the pressure in the compartment. The incision is surgically repaired when swelling recedes. Sometimes a skin graft may be needed. (

There you's not a common thing. It's just my fate that I would get some weird condition that I've never heard of. I'm weird and complicated anyway; why not add compartment syndrome? It's chronic compartment syndrome instead of acute, so that's better. God is teaching me a lesson through all of this; I just pray I catch it instead of getting caught up in the dark side of it.

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