Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome Likely Underdiagnosed Image

Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome Likely Underdiagnosed

August 22, 2019 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Compartment Syndrome, a dangerous condition that occurs when swelling in an extremity or compartment of the body cannot alleviate due to the fascia of the body holding fluids in one area, is mostly associated with trauma.  Whether caused by fire, blunt force injury, or car accident, most doctors are familiar with this devastating disease.

But emergent or traumatic Compartment Syndrome is not the only form of this condition.  Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome can affect athletes for months or even years before it is discovered and properly treated.  In these cases, the underlying swelling can do long-term damage to tissue, causing pain and other symptoms that are misdiagnosed as general soreness or muscle strain.

It is in some ways understandable that CECS is so often missed as a diagnosis.  Athletes expect to be sore after workouts, particularly in the parts of the body utilized in their endeavors.  CECS is most often seen in the legs of runners or the arms of rowers, and sports medicine professionals will often prescribe rest and massage, which is often enough for managing symptoms. 

Though rest and other forms of treatment may temporarily alieve the symptoms, the long-term damage is still being done, and sometimes a fasciotomy is necessary to prevent future problems.  This requires an accurate diagnosis and evaluation of whether or not the CECS can be addressed in other ways.  Doctors should not allow a patient to suffer long-term damage because of failure to diagnose and treat.

If you or someone you love has suffered unnecessarily due to a delayed diagnosis of Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney.  A qualified lawyer can help guide you through the process of evaluating medical records and determining whether or not an earlier diagnosis should have been made.


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