What are the possible complications of foot fractures?

Updated: Sep 23, 2018
  • Author: Robert Silbergleit, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Compartment syndrome is the most dangerous acute complication of foot fractures. This syndrome is associated primarily with midfoot fractures sustained as the result of a crush mechanism. Clinical signs include marked swelling (early) and neurovascular compromise (late). Recent data emphasize that compartment syndrome is a subjective clinical diagnosis. Measurement of compartment pressures may provide useful supplemental information, but pressure thresholds defining compartment syndrome in lower extremity fractures are elusive, [42] and the osseofascial spaces of the foot are not distinct or isolated. [43] Suspicion of compartment syndrome warrants emergent orthopedic consultation; treatment is fasciotomy when the diagnosis is confirmed.


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