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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 18

of 'Tibial and fibular shaft fractures in children'

Acute compartment syndrome in children: contemporary diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.
Bae DS, Kadiyala RK, Waters PM
J Pediatr Orthop. 2001;21(5):680.
Compartment syndrome can be difficult to diagnose in a child, with delays in diagnosis leading to disastrous outcomes. Thirty-six cases of compartment syndrome in 33 pediatric patients were treated at the authors' institution from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 1997. There were 27 boys and 6 girls, with nearly equal upper and lower extremity involvement. Approximately 75% of these patients developed compartment syndrome in the setting of fracture. Pain, pallor, paresthesia, paralysis, and pulselessness were relatively unreliable signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome in these children. An increasing analgesia requirement in combination with other clinical signs, however, was a more sensitive indicator of compartment syndrome: all 10 patients with access to patient-controlled or nurse-administered analgesia during their initial evaluation demonstrated an increasing requirement for pain medication. With early diagnosis and expeditious treatment,>90% of the patients studied achieved full restoration of function.
The Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.