Definition of chronic compartment syndrome in the forearm:
Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is a compression of the compartments in the forearm that occurs during physical exercise. It is very frequent in motorcycling and windsurfing.
Diagnosis of chronic compartment syndrome in the forearm:
The diagnosis is in most cases obvious with cramp-like pain in both forearms that may radiate to the hand. Pain occurs a few minutes into a training session and requires interruption to subside and disappear within a few minutes.
Video of treatment of chronic compartment syndrome in the forearm:
Surgical treatment for chronic compartment syndrome in the forearm:
This surgical procedure is specialized surgery. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under regional anaesthesia and can be bilateral.
This endoscopic forearm surgery derives from endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery.
When surface anatomic marking is completed, careful dissection is carried to the fascia of the forearm’s muscle compartments which are incised over 5 mm.
The cannula of the endoscope is then inserted and the whole length of the muscle’s fascia can be incised under endoscopic monitoring. With this endoscopic surgical technique, constant camera monitoring minimizes superficial injuries to nerves and veins.
This procedure is repeated for each incision and for the 3 superficial compartments of each forearm. Incision of the deep anterior compartment will be decided on an individual basis.
This endoscopic surgery makes it possible to avoid unsightly scarring that sometimes causes painful adhesions.
After confirming that all of the forearm’s muscle compartments have been properly decompressed, the surgical incisions will be closed with absorbable stitches.
Recovery after surgery for chronic compartment syndrome in the forearm
No immobilization of the elbow or forearm is required, motorcycling can resume after 3 weeks for training, and 5 to 6 weeks for competition.