Types of compartment syndrome

There are two main types of compartment syndrome: acute compartment syndrome and chronic (also called exertional) compartment syndrome.

Acute compartment syndrome:

  • happens suddenly, usually after a fracture or severe injury
  • is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment
  • canlead topermanent muscle damage if not treated quickly

Chronic compartmentsyndrome:

  • happens gradually, usuallyduring andimmediatelyafter repetitive exercise (such as running or cycling)
  • usually passeswithin minutes of stopping the activity
  • is not a medical emergency and doesn't cause permanent damage
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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018