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Compartment syndrome of the thigh. A case report with delayed onset after stable pelvic ring fracture and chronic anticoagulation therapie

Rolf D Burghardt*, Sebastian Siebenlist, Stefan Döbele, Martin Lucke and Ulrich Stöckle

Author Affiliations

Department of Trauma Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Muenchen, Germany

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BMC Geriatrics 2010, 10:51  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-51

Published: 27 July 2010


Compartment syndrome of the thigh is a rare occurrence potentially leading to devastating functional restrictions. There is a wide spectrum of reported conditions leading to increased tissue pressure in the thigh possibly resulting in a compartment syndrome, ranging from deep venous thrombosis to blunt injuries and femoral fractures. We report a case of a delayed development of a compartment syndrome of the thigh secondary to an undisplaced anterior pelvic ring fracture and chronic anticoagulation therapy in a 94-year-old woman. Regarding anticoagulation therapy there are numerous reports about the spectrum of bleeding complications during therapy, however this severe complication has to our knowledge not been reported previously. Treatment consisted in immediate fasciotomy and subsequently secondary wound closure.