Thigh compartment syndrome in a football athlete: a case report and review of the literature.

Colosimo AJ, Ireland ML. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati, OH 45219.

Although contusions of the thigh are common in all sports, a compartment syndrome from closed blunt trauma without a femur fracture is rare. Thigh compartment syndrome is unusual due to increased compliance of the thigh to accommodate increased expansion from hematoma or third space fluid. Compartment syndrome of the thigh is characterized by unrelenting pain, swelling, and limited knee range of motion. A single case of a thigh compartment syndrome caused by a direct blow to the anterior aspect of the thigh from a football helmet during kickoff occurred. Immediate thigh fasciotomy was performed. Early diagnosis with appropriate emergency treatment can avoid serious and permanent complications.