Compartment syndrome obscured by post-operative epidural analgesia

  • Md Quamar Azam | Dammam University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Mir Sadat Ali Dammam University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Majed Al Ruwaili Dammam University, Saudi Arabia.
  • Hassan Noori Al Sayed dammam University, Saudi Arabia.


Compartment syndrome is an orthopedic emergency that require early recognition and urgent intervention to avoid catastrophic complications. High index of suspicion is required for early diagnosis based on a constellation of signs and symptoms that include pain out of proportion and worsened by passive stretching, altered sensorium and palpable tenseness. Any event thus, that masks pain, may lead to delay the diagnosis of compartment syndrome. We report here a case of polytrauma where post-operative analgesia was administered using epidural catheter, which obscured pain and lead to delay in recognition of compartment syndrome. Authors wish to share a lesson, learned at the expense of tragedy.

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Author Biographies

Md Quamar Azam, Dammam University
Assistan Professor
Mir Sadat Ali, Dammam University
Majed Al Ruwaili, Dammam University
Hassan Noori Al Sayed, dammam University
Case Reports
compartment syndrome, delayed diagnosis, epidural analgesia.
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How to Cite
Azam, M. Q., Ali, M. S., Al Ruwaili, M., & Al Sayed, H. N. (2012). Compartment syndrome obscured by post-operative epidural analgesia. Clinics and Practice, 2(1), e19.