Compartment syndrome results from elevated tissue pressure within an
osseofascial compartment that is caused either by an increase in the contents
of the compartment, such as that produced by an accumulation of blood or other
fluids, or by a decrease in the volume of the compartment, such as that
occurring after the application of a constrictive cast or
The pathophysiology of compartment syndrome is well defined: as compartment
pressure rises above arteriolar pressure, capillary flow decreases while
venous outflow is obstructed, thus impairing perfusion to compartment
Permanent losses of neural and muscular function are the feared outcomes.
Compartment syndromes occur most frequently after lower-extremity trauma,
often after a high-energy injury. We report the cases of two children in whom
compartment syndrome of the leg developed after a low-energy fracture of the
femoral shaft was treated with an early sitting spica cast. The parents of
both children were informed that data concerning their cases would be
submitted for publication.