Medical Illustrations

Picture of Compartment Syndrome

Compartment Syndrome Illustration

Compartment syndrome is the name of the condition that results in pain when pressure builds up and compresses groups of blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. This grouping of tissue is called a compartment. Compartments are surrounded by a tough sheath called fascia. Fascia does not expand readily when the underlying tissue is swollen, leading to increased pressures in the tissues. Compartment syndrome may be acute or chronic. Acute cases may be medical emergencies.

Common causes of compartment syndrome may include physical trauma (fracture, crush injury, a severely bruised muscle), anabolic steroid use, constricting bandages, or the restoration of blood flow after circulation has been compromised. Symptoms of compartment syndrome may include pain, numbness, tingling, and difficulty moving the affected area.

Image Source: MedicineNet, Inc.

Text Reference: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Compartment Syndrome"