Pressure Monitoring in Late/Missed ACS
In the absence of reliable evidence, it is the opinion of the work group that compartment pressure monitoring does not provide useful information to guide decision making when considering fasciotomy for an adult patient with evidence of irreversible intracompartmental (neuromuscular/vascular) damage.
Management of Acute Compartment Syndrome
This guideline was produced in collaboration with METRC, with funding provided by the US Department of Defense. Endorsed by: ACS, AOFAS, and SOMOS

Rationale

Determining when ACS has caused irreversible damage to the nerves, vessels and/or muscle in a given compartment is difficult in the absence of a reliable clinical history. There is no convincing clinical data to indicate that multiple compartment pressure checks can help determine when irreversible damage has occurred. There is also no conclusive clinical data to suggest that elevated compartment pressures in a patient with known irreversible intracompartmental damage are an indication for fasciotomy. Fasciotomy performed on a limb with irreversible intracompartmental damage carries significant morbidity.

POSSIBLE HARMS OF IMPLEMENTATION

The indication for fasciotomy should be based on a reliable clinical history and exam. Assuming the viability of the compartment necrosis can lead to a missed diagnosis while performing fasciotomy on a necrotic compartment may lead to significant morbidity.

FUTURE RESEARCH

Determining reliable compartment pressure measurements that indicate the progression to irreversible ischemia would significantly aid the clinician seeking to avoid the morbidity of fasciotomy in this population.


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