A patient who sustained a fractured fibula has developed compartment syndrome. The nurse explains compartment syndrome to the patient knowing that:

Is the buildup of pressure from swelling or bleeding in an enclosed space.


• Compartment syndrome is when increasing edema or bleeding causes pressure buildup in an enclosed space. This causes compression of arteries, leading to reduced blood flow and tissue ischemia

• Bone atrophy is not associated with compartment syndrome

• Arterial collapse can occur if pressure buildup is not stopped. Hemorrhage is most likely from the fractured bone

• Nerve damage happens after tissue ischemia has already occured. The swelling itself does not cause the nerve damage

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!