Foot compartment syndrome is a condition that occurs when the nerves, blood vessels and muscles are compressed. It may occur in many parts of the body - more commonly in the foot, leg and thigh and hands.
Once there is swelling or hematoma, normal blood flow is disrupted because a connective tissue called fascia could not expand. And if left untreated, tissue death can occur once oxygen levels or poor blood circulation happens in the area. Visit a podiatrist if you suspect foot compartment syndrome. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specializes in foot care and treating foot disorders.
Signs and symptoms of foot compartment syndrome includes:
- Soreness radiating to the toes once you move them up and down
- Swollen and pale skin on the area where the tissue is damaged
- Intrinsic foot muscle weakness
- Pain resulting from the compartments impacted being squeezed
- Pain felt when stretching your ankle, toes and metatarsal joints
If left untreated, late findings for foot compartment syndrome includes:
- Pulses not palpable due to too much swelling of the foot
- Decreased sensation and neurological deficits (Remember the 5 P’s: Pain, Paresthesia, Pallor, Paralysis, Pulselessness)
The signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome usually develop as the pressure of the tissue increases and reach the systemic pressure. Nevertheless, the pressures of different injuries vary from one another.
A higher pressure may be needed before any injuries can occur to the peripheral nerves of a patient with systemic hypertension. While acute compartment syndrome may develop at lower pressures from those patients with peripheral vascular disorders or hypo-tension.
Once a foot compartment syndrome has been diagnosed, it is important to seek immediate consultation and treatment procedures depending on the patient’s risk factors and clinical diagnosis. Your podiatrist should can help test compartment pressures and measure it correctly to help in proper diagnosis.