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What is 'acute compartment syndrome'?

Tendon And Muscle Injury Basics

Gary Brazina (Sports Medicine Physician) gives expert video advice on: What is 'acute compartment syndrome'?; What is 'chronic compartment syndrome'?; What is 'tendinitis'? and more...

What is 'acute compartment syndrome'?

An acute compartment syndrome is a very serious medical problem, generally requiring medical emergency. The most common compartment that we see is in the leg or in the arm, but any of this closer compartment will have it. The compartment syndrome means that there is swelling within these closed compartments. The compartments are made of fascia, which is a thick fiber tissue on the outside, and muscle, blood vessels and nerves inside. When there is trauma, for example a fracture or crush injury, there is swelling in these closed compartments and as the swelling continues, it continues to swell where there is no room for the swelling to go out of the closed fiber compartment. As this happens, the nerves and arteries can be crushed and the muscle can even die. It is a very serious condition. The most common deficiency compartment syndromes are the forearm, muscles of the forearm, outside of the legs, and the lower leg which we called the interior compartment. For example, there are four compartments in the lower leg.

What is 'chronic compartment syndrome'?

Chronic compartment syndrome is swelling within these closed compartments due to overuse. It is very common in marathoners or distance runners. People who run constantly, get chronic swelling in their legs and can develop these chronic compartment syndromes, and sometimes they have to be operated on and released.

What is 'tendinitis'?

Tendinitis is an -itis or an inflammation of the tendons. Tendons connect muscle to bone. Whenever you hear the term -itis, it means inflammation.

What is 'neuritis'?

Neuritis is an inflammation of the sheath of the nerve generally causing pain or numbness. A Common case of neuritis would be carpal tunnel syndrome, where there is compression of the nerve. Everyone has an acute neuritis when they've banged their crazy bone because you're striking the ulnar nerve as it comes across the elbow. When its chronic, we call that acubital tunnel syndrome.

What is 'cartilage wear and tear'?

Cartilage wear and tear, by definition, is arthritis. Every joint is covered on its surface by articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is a smooth glistening surface that allows for gliding, much like a brand new teflon pan. As your pan wears and you've used a metal spatula on it, it gets bubbled and fissured and worn. That is what cartilage wear and tear is. It's a fissuring, breaking and wearing of the articular surface, that by definition is arthritis.

What is a loose body in the joint or an Osteochondritis fragment?

A loose body is a part of Osteocardilagnus bone. That is a piece of bone in cartilage that has broken off and is rattling around loose in the joint, and it causes wear.

What is 'bursitis'?

A bursitis, again, is an -itis or an inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a potential space between two gliding surfaces. The most common ones that we see or talk about is a shoulder bursitis. This is a potential space between the bone and the rotator cuff tendons. Another common bursa is over the side of the hip. These are potential spaces; they're like pillows that are gliding spaces. So an -itis may become inflamed and painful.