The elbow and forearm form a functional unit whose primary role is to accurately position the hand in space. view
An elbow contusion results from blunt direct trauma and produces muscle strains and ligament sprains. view
Fractures about the elbow are the result of high energy injuries. view
Compartment syndrome in all extremities is an orthopedic emergency. view
Wounds occurring in the forearm and elbow must be treated as an emergency because the risk of infection if left open increases about 7 hours after an injury has occurred. view
Arthritis in the elbow can occur after an injury (post-traumatic arthritis), congenital lack of blood supply to the bone causing flaking off of the cartilage called Osteochondritis Dessicans. view
Cubital tunnel syndrome is the compression of the ulnar nerve at the level of the elbow. view
Pronator syndrome is the compression of the median nerve around the elbow and palmar side of the forearm. Because it is the same nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome, there is overlap in the symptoms making the diagnosis difficult, at times. view
Radial tunnel syndrome and posterior Interosseous Nerve palsy are both a result of compression of the Posterior interosseous nerve with a more severe compression occurring in posterior interosseous nerve palsy. view
Lateral epicondyltis also called tennis elbow and medial epicondylitis called golfers elbow is a condition affecting the forearm muscles on the humeral bone at the elbow called the lateral and medial epicondylitis respectively. view
The cause of a stiff elbow is either at the bony level or the collagen capsule/ligament level or both. view
The elbow, like the shoulder is well perfused with ample blood supply allowing for circulating white blood cells to offer excellent protection against infection and, consequently an elbow infection is uncommon. view
Tumors are divided into benign and malignant types. A benign tumor is an abnormal growth of a particular cell type presenting as a mass. view
PathologyCompartment syndrome in all extremities is an orthopedic emergency.
Forearm compartment syndrome occurs as a result of
A fracture may or may not accompany a forearm compartment syndrome. In most cases, a wound is not present, potentially indirectly decompressing the forearm compartments preventing the pressure buildup.
Patients with forearm compartment syndrome complain of pain that is out of proportion to the injury. As the pain increases, the patient demands for a subsequent increase in pain medication.
This is a dangerous situation. Ignoring the increasing pressure in the compartments will result in tissue death and potential loss of the limb.
Symptoms of Compartment Syndrome
Because the signs and symptoms can be variable, physicians must have a high index of suspicion of this condition. More pain medication is not the answer. Increasing pain after an injury requires direct clinical evaluation by your doctor and should not be addressed over the phone.
If an elbow, forearm and hand compartment syndrome is diagnosed, it must be treated within 6 hours of occurrence.
Diagnosis is done clinically, and with the use of compartment pressure measurement instruments. If there is conflicting findings between the clinical presentation and the measurement obtained, it is prudent to follow the clinical findings to avoid the catastrophe of tissue death if the measuring device is wrong.
The treatment of a compartment syndrome consists of releasing the connective tissue (fascia) that surrounds and separates each compartment.
The release relieves the pressure within the compartment and allows the muscles and nerves within the compartment to receive their required blood supply.
The surgical wounds are often not sutured back immediately to allow the skin and soft tissue to accommodate any swelling. The wound either undergoes a delayed closure or skin is grafted to accommodate the increased swelling. If the wounds cannot be closed because of skin tightness, another technique is to use a vacuum-assisted wound closure device.