Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

View Web RX

« Back

My 23-year old son had a bad stick injury playing ice hockey. There was obvious bleeding under the skin and swelling in his thigh. It was diagnosed as a compartment syndrome. The doctors did emergency surgery without even taking an X-ray. How could they tell it was that serious without any testing?

A well-trained physician will recognize signs and symptoms of anterior compartment syndrome (ACS), which is a true medical emergency. Most doctors say that the exam is still the best way to make the diagnosis of this condition. The classic signs of ACS are called the seven P's and include:
  • More pain than expected for the injury
  • Area is very tense when touched or palpated
  • Pain increases when the part is moved passively
  • There is numbness (paresthesia) of the skin over the injured area
  • Paralysis occurs when the nerves or muscles are without blood supply
  • The pulses below the injury are still normal
  • The skin is discolored or loses color (pallor) Fast response with early treatment is the key to a good result. Waiting too long can result in irreversible damage. Your son is lucky to have been seen by a physician who recognized the signs and didn't wait for things to get worse.

  • References:

    « Back

    *Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

    All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.