Causes of compartment syndrome

Acute compartment syndrome

Acute compartment syndrome can be caused by:

  • abroken boneor a crush injury this is the most common cause
  • a plaster cast or tight bandage being applied to a limbbefore it has stopped swelling
  • Burns and scalds , which can cause the skin to become scarred and tight
  • surgery to repair a damaged or blocked blood vessel (because once blood is able to flow back into a muscle, it can lead to swelling)

In rare cases, it can occur without any obviousinjury.

Chronic compartment syndrome

Chronic compartment syndrome usually occurs in young people who do regular, repetitive exercise such as running or cycling.

The exact cause is unknown.

One theory is that it's caused bytemporary swelling of the muscles during exercise affecting the blood supply to a whole group of muscles.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018