Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

compartment syndrome of my baby?

Posted In: Muscle conditions 1 Replies
  • Posted By: BabyDad
  • March 11, 2007
  • 02:27 AM

Hello All,

I am worried that my 6 wk old baby has sequelae from compartment syndrome of the left leg. HE was hospitalized at NICU at 6 days fo life for sepsis. A femoral line was put in and he had an exploratory lap done to rule out bowel problem. there was no bowel problem. Anyhow, soon after the femoral line and/or the exploratory lap, his left limb appeared very dusky with a bluish-purple tinge. I was of course worried. the nurse said he still has a dorsales pedis pulse. He was transfered several hours later to another hospital for finding his sepsis cause. The organism was found and he responded well with antibiotics. However, after extubation he was found to not move his left leg except a little and no movement in left foot.

A doctor at the hospital in why=ich my baby was transfered told me that the limb was very hard and they were very worried about it. The nurse could not find the dorasles pulse by palpation or by using a hand held doppler that nurses use. However, the doctor told me that she did feel a pulse that was not strong but was there.

A couple weeks after discharge my baby did cringe his toes thans to God which pleased us. That was a few days ago.

He did have an abrasion on his shin from another round of swelling which occurred on his foot and ankle but that swelling was not purple blue. The second round of swelling we were told was from a femoral clot.

Anyhow, could this have been compartment syndrome? And what else could it have been? And the fact that he has curled his toes....could that mean that God willing, his anterior tibialis would probably start to work as well later. The orthopedic who told me the diagnosis of anteriror compartment syndrome and possible posterior compartment syndrome told me that babies have more chance of healing and there is decent chance of healing and recovery for him. Is he just giving me hope out of kindness because I recall reading that compartment syndrome is irreversible?

Is there any medical treatment that doctors can do such as giving electric impusles?

Or implanting stem cells to repopulate the muscle compartments if God forbid there is muscle injury?

We are praying to God but any answers would help.

Thanks much!


Concerned Dad and Mom

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1 Replies:

  • Compartment Syndrome is very serious. In a lot of cases, if the pressure is not reduced within a short period of time, irreversible damage can be caused.However, the Doctor is right - younger people heal better than older ones. If this compression was treated right away, which I am sure it was since it was a newborn, then yes, improvement could be expected.The fact that the toes curl is a good sign (although the anterior tibialis does not curl the toes, it Dorsiflexes and Inverts the foot - moot point).I have seen patients with the diagnosis of Shin Splints in our clinic, only for me to refer them to a surgeon ASAP to do a decompressive surgery to alleviate pressure. And they have seen great improvement in their functional status and returned to sports even.With Compartment Syndrome, it is all about timing. The sooner addressed, the better. Chris
    ChrisFloridaPT 29 Replies Flag this Response
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