Case: Exertional compartment syndrome in motorcycle racer
(HealthDay)—In a case study published online April 14 in BMJ Case Reports, chronic exertional compartment syndrome of both flexor and extensor compartments of the forearm is described in a motorcycle racer, which resolved after fasciotomies.
Michiel B. Winkes, M.D., from the Máxima Medical Center in Veldhoven, Netherlands, and colleagues discuss the case of a 26-year-old motorcycle racer presenting with progressive pain, weakness and swelling of his right forearm, and loss of power in his index finger; symptoms were experienced during motor racing.
Based on dynamic intracompartmental muscle pressure measurements, the authors diagnosed chronic exertional compartment syndrome of both flexor and extensor compartments of the forearm. All symptoms were resolved after fasciotomies; within three months after surgery the racer was able to perform at a higher competitive level with no lower arm symptoms. Exertional pain and tightness had completely resolved at one year after surgery. The patient reported widening of the volar incisional scar during the first months after surgery.
"If conservative therapies are unsuccessful, surgery including a fasciotomy or a fasciectomy often provides good to excellent results," the authors write. "Complication rates are frequently not reported. However, long-term widening of the volar incisional scar is often reported, as was also found in the present patient."
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