Scientific Articles   |    
Continuous Intracompartmental Pressure Monitoring for Acute Compartment Syndrome
Andrew D. Duckworth, MSc, MRCSEd1; Margaret M. McQueen, MD, FRCSEd(Orth)1
1 Edinburgh Orthopaedic Trauma Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SU, Scotland. E-mail address for A.D. Duckworth: andrew.duckworth@yahoo.co.uk
View Disclosures and Other Information
  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Based on an original article: J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 Apr 17;95(8):673-7.

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
JBJS Essential Surgical Techniques, 2013 Jul 10;3(3):e13 1-7. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.ST.M.00023
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case



We recommended that all patients at risk for acute compartment syndrome undergo continuous intracompartmental pressure monitoring.

Step 1: Patient Consent

Provide thorough explanations so that the patient can give informed consent to undergo catheter placement and continuous compartment pressure monitoring.

Step 2: Position the Patient

Perform the procedure with the patient supine, in either the recovery room (post anesthetic care unit) or with adequate assistance on the ward.

Step 3: Preparation

Have all required items for the slit catheter technique for continuous intracompartmental pressure monitoring with placement under a strict aseptic technique.

Step 4: Insert the Catheter

At the time of admission to the hospital, insert a slit catheter into the anterior compartment with the catheter tip within 5 cm of the fracture level and 1 to 2 cm lateral to the tibia.

Step 5: Attach the Transducer

Once the catheter is in position, fill it with normal saline solution and attach it to the transducer and pressure manometry tubing, providing a continuous column of saline solution between the compartment and the transducer.

Step 6: Attach the Transducer to the Monitor and Check Reading

Once assembly is complete, you must check that the catheter is working properly and providing accurate readings; then measure the patient’s blood pressure at the initial and every subsequent reading.

Step 7: Continuous Monitoring

Perform continuous monitoring for twenty-four hours or until the pressure is consistently dropping and the ΔP is consistently rising, whichever is the longer.


In our previously published study, we examined 850 patients who underwent continuous intracompartmental pressure monitoring following a fracture of the tibial diaphysis.

What to Watch For



Pitfalls & Challenges

Figures in this Article

    First Page Preview

    View Large
    First page PDF preview
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS Essential Surgical Techniques?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    CA - Mercy Medical Group
    PA - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
    NY - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai