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.

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