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Question 3#

Which of the following is true concerning compartment syndrome?

A) Due to decreased intracompartmental pressure
B) Typified by hyperesthesia
C) Can be assessed by needles placed into affected compartment
D) Pain relieved by passive muscle stretching

Correct Answer is C


Compartment syndrome is an orthopedic emergency caused by significant swelling within a compartment of an injured extremity that jeopardizes blood flow to the limb. Increased pressure within the compartment compromises perfusion to muscles and can cause ischemia or necrosis. Patients complain of pain and numbness, and passive stretch of muscles within the compartment causes severe pain. While the diagnosis is based on clinical examination, pressures can be measured with needles placed into the compartment, which is necessary in unconscious patients who will not show these examination findings.