Fillers A memorable patient

Compartment syndrome

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 31 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:286
  1. Rahij Anwar, clinical fellow in trauma and orthopaedics (
  1. Maidstone Hospital, Kent

    The 6 year old boy arrived in the night with a painful and swollen elbow after a fall. His supracondylar fracture was manipulated, the subsequent x ray films looked excellent, and he was discharged. He returned two days later with severe pain and a blistered, swollen forearm. The diagnosis of compartment syndrome crossed my mind, but my registrar soon ruled it out. He said, “Swelling is quite common in this fracture. The child's pulses are palpable, and sensations are fine. Send him home.” Being a beginner, …

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