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