University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

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Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; School of Medicine

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Diagnosis | Health Services Administration | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Orthopedics | Trauma


Introduction: Compartment syndrome is a limb threatening, and sometimes life-threatening medical condition. It usually occurs in high energy lower extremity injuries, commonly in the younger patient with classic signs and symptoms. Pain out of proportion to exam is one of the key elements in diagnosis. A high vigilance for signs and symptoms of this condition should be present on most physicians' radars who treat emergency conditions, as this case report demonstrates, the mechanism and story are not always classic.

Presentation of cases: Two cases of young, healthy adults who underwent fasciotomy for compartment release for compartment syndrome isolated to the anterolateral compartment, but who did not sustain a high energy trauma, but rather a twisting ankle injury.

Conclusion: Compartment syndrome can occur in young, healthy, active patients with a lower energy twisting injury and without fracture. A high level of suspicion on the clinicians' part will prevent adverse outcomes to the patient.


Ankle injuries, Compartment syndrome, Fasciotomy, Lower extremity, Orthopedics

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Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI of Published Version



Bango J, Zhang E, Aaron DL, Diwan A. Two cases of acute anterolateral compartment syndrome following inversion ankle injuries. Trauma Case Rep. 2020 Nov 2;30:100371. doi: 10.1016/j.tcr.2020.100371. PMID: 33204802; PMCID: PMC7649348. Link to article on publisher's site

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Trauma case reports

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.