Compartmental syndromes in which the skin is the limiting boundary

D J Gaspard, R D Kohl
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 1975, (113): 65-8
Following closed fasciotomy, skin may become the limiting boundary of extremity swelling. The resulting increase in pressure within the limb may threaten its survival. Realizing this potential complications, we reserve closed fasciotomy for those cases in which only moderate swelling is anticipated. Following this procedure the patient is observed closely for evidence that decompression dermotomy is indicated. Patients in whom severe swelling is present or anticipated are treated with fasciotomy and primary dermotomy. Wounds are closed by either primary or delayed skin graft. This approach has proven useful in the management of traumatized or vascularly embarrassed limbs in which swelling may compromise extremity viability.

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