Compartment syndrome is defined by high pressures in a closed myofascial compartment, which affects initially the muscles and later the nerves and vessels. The hand is rarely affected, but if treated suboptimally, it results to a permanent loss of function. Eleven compartments are included in the hand and wrist. Diagnosis of compartment syndrome of the hand remains challenging. Pain out of proportion of injury and excessive swelling should raise suspicion towards a compartment syndrome. Intracompartmental pressure measurement contributes to the diagnosis, but it is not always reliable. Once the diagnosis of acute compartment syndrome has been made, decompression of all compartments is mandatory, in order to achieve a good outcome. Failing to manage this emergent condition properly leads to a significant hand disability. Our chapter includes the following sections: 1. Introduction. A brief description of the hand compartment syndrome is presented. 2. Anatomy. Special considerations regarding hand compartments are presented, 3. Etiology. 4. Diagnosis. Signs and symptoms are reported, as well as guidelines of the technique of intracompartmental pressure measurement. 5. Treatment. Faciotomies’ indications and operative technique are described in details. 6. Conclusion. Appropriate figures of the clinical image and surgical decompression are presented as well.
Part of the book: A Comprehensive Review of Compartment Syndrome