Symptoms of compartment syndrome

Acute compartment syndrome

Symptoms of acute compartment syndrome usuallydevelop after an injury and get quickly worse.

Symptomscan include:

  • intense pain, especially when the muscle is stretched, which seems much worse thanwould normally be expectedfor the injury
  • tenderness in the affected area
  • tightness in the muscle
  • a tingling or burning sensation
  • in severe cases, numbness or weakness (these are signs of permanent damage)

Chronic compartment syndrome

Symptoms of chronic compartment syndrome tend to develop gradually during exercise and improve with rest.

Symptoms can include:

  • cramping pain during exercise, most oftenin the legs
  • swelling or a visibly bulging muscle
  • a tingling sensation
  • the affected areaturningpale and cold
  • in severe cases, difficulty moving the affected body part
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018