Compartment Syndrome with Mononeuropathies After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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Abstract

Compartment syndrome rarely follows anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. However, when it does, it may result in mononeuropathies that are amenable to neurolysis. The authors of this study present an 18-yr-old woman who sustained a right anterior cruciate ligament tear and underwent uneventful anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using femoral and popliteal nerve blocks. Postoperatively, she developed compartment syndrome requiring emergent fasciotomies. At 11 wks after fasciotomy, results of electrophysiologic tests showed evidence of severe fibular and tibial neuropathies. Magnetic resonance images showed extensive tricompartmental myonecrosis. Fibular and tibial neurolysis as well as decompression were performed, followed by intensive outpatient rehabilitation. At the 6-mo follow-up, she reported resolution of pain as well as significant improvement in sensation, strength, and function. Early recognition and intervention are crucial to prevent serious neurologic damage. Excessive tourniquet pressure and anesthetic nerve blocks may have been responsible.

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