Thenar Compartment Syndrome: What If a Compartment Pressure Measuring Device is Absent?

Budeyri A., Cankus M. C., Meric G., Sever G. B.

CUREUS, vol.10, no.2, 2018 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.7759/cureus.2197
  • Journal Name: CUREUS
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: pressure monitoring device, thenar compartment syndrome, compartment syndrome of the hand, hand injury, anesthesia machine compartment pressure measurement, microsurgery, compartment pressure measurement, pressure monitorized compartment release, compartment syndrome, compartment pressure, INTRACOMPARTMENTAL PRESSURE
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: No


Compartment syndrome (CS) is a threatening condition characterized by excessive tissue pressure accumulation associated with acute trauma. Compartment syndrome causes a significant reduction in blood flow with subsequent muscle and nerve ischemic necrosis. Recently, reports have described the importance of intramuscular pressure measurements as a basis for CS diagnosis. Unfortunately, the measuring devices that were utilized produced results with unsatisfactory reliability, making a diagnosis and subsequent treatment challenging. Here, we report the use of an anesthesia pressure monitoring device with greater precision for pressure measurements, as well as real-time monitoring of intraoperative compartment pressure decompression efficacy. This device enabled the accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment of a thenar compartment syndrome (TCS) in the left hand of a diabetic female in an emergency setting. She presented extreme pain in the thumb flexion-extension (FE). Her condition was complicated by diabetic cellulitis, primarily of Staphylococcus aureus. Consequently, successful microsurgery in the thenar space, together with debridement, resulted in remarkable pain relief during FE of the thumb metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and interphalangeal (IP) joints, as well as the disappearance of the infection by Day 10. Subsequent one- to two-year follow-up assessments revealed marked recovery.