Calf Compartment Syndrome associated with the Use of an Intra-osseous Line in an Adult Patient: A Case Report
We present a case of a lower limb compartment syndrome associated with the use of an intra-osseous line inserted into the proximal tibia in an adult patient. An unconscious 59-year old male with multiple injuries presented to our Emergency Department after a road traffic accident. Bilateral proximal tibial intra osseous-lines were inserted due to poor venous access. After resuscitation his left leg was noted to be tense and swollen with absent pulses. Acute compartment syndrome was diagnosed both clinically and with compartment pressure measurement. Two incision fasciotomy on his left lower leg was performed. Intra osseous-lines in the proximal tibia are increasingly used in adult patients in the pre-hospital setting by paramedics and emergency physicians. Their use, along with the possible complications of these devices, such as the development of compartment syndrome or osteomyelitis leading to amputation, is well reported in the paediatric literature. To the best of our knowledge, there have not been any previous reports of complications in the adult patient. We present a case of lower leg compartment syndrome developing from the use of an intra-osseous line in the proximal tibia in an adult patient. With the increasing use of intra-osseous lines in adult patients, clinicians should be aware of the possibility of developing compartment syndrome which may lead to disability or amputation in severe cases.
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