Home / Conditions Treated / Knee / Leg Compartment Syndrome

Knee Anatomy

The bones of the knee are the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap). view 

Knee Fracture

Knee fractures may involve the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), upper end of the shin bone (tibia), the kneecap (patella), or any combination of the three. view

Leg Fractures

The main bone in the leg (tibia) breaks into two or more pieces depending on how bad the injury. view 

Knee Dislocation

Knee dislocations are true orthopedic emergencies. In addition to the knee joint being out of place, the nerves and blood vessels that supply the leg are at risk for injury and can threaten the viability. view 

Leg Compartment Syndrome

Leg compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure within the front, back, or outer leg compartments rises above the blood pressure needed for the heart to pump blood to the thigh. view 

Knee Ligament Injury

A knee ligament injury can be a sprain in which a ligament around the knee gets stretched or the ligament can be partially or completely torn. view 

Knee Meniscus Tear

The menisci are two C-shaped cartilage disks that sit between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) and provide stability, support, and cushioning for the knee. view

Patellofemoral Syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome encompasses a spectrum of conditions that can involve the kneecap (patella), quadriceps muscle group, iliotibial band (ITB), hamstrings, as well as the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). view

Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis is the loss of the cartilage cushion in the joint contact surfaces that normally allows for smooth, pain-free gliding during knee range of motion.  view

Knee Tendon Disorders

The common tendon disorders about the knee include bursitis, tendonitis, quadriceps, and patellar tendon tears. view

Stiff Joints: Stiff Knee

Stiff knee, also referred to as arthrofibrosis, is a condition that is associated with moderate to severe pain with knee motion. view

Knee Infection

The knee is one of the most well-perfused (good blood supply) areas of the human body and because of this ample blood supply to the knee, circulating white blood cells offer excellent protection against infection. view



Compartment syndrome is an orthopedic emergency. Leg compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure within the front, back, or outer leg compartments rises above the blood pressure needed for the heart to pump blood to the thigh. When this occurs, the muscles and nerves within the compartment are at risk of dying with little or no chance of recovery. Leg compartment syndrome usually occurs after some sort of trauma such as a fall with or without a fracture. Patients may complain of increasing pain, pain that is out of proportion to the injury, and increase in pain medication requirements, numbness, tingling, or no symptoms at all. The leg may feel tense, the patient may have pain with stretch of the muscles affected, there may be a loss of sensation in the leg, a cool feeling of the skin, loss of pulses in ankle, or loss of function of the leg muscles. Because the signs and symptoms can be variable, physicians must maintain a high index of suspicion if the patient’s complaints and injury history are consistent with a compartment syndrome.



If a thigh compartment syndrome is diagnosed, it must be treated within 6 hours of the injury. The treatment consists of a trip to the operating room where the connective tissue (fascia) that surrounds and separates each compartment must be surgically released. This 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 for the skin and soft tissue to accommodate any swelling that has occurred during the course of the surgery. The surgical wounds are then sutured back at a later a date. If they cannot be sutured back because of skin tightness, the use of a vacuum-assisted wound closure device may be used. Skin grafts may sometimes be needed to ultimately close the surgical wounds.