Journal List > J Korean Soc Surg Hand > v.20(2) > 1106512

J Korean Soc Surg Hand. 2015 Jun;20(2):59-63. Korean.
Published online June 30, 2015.
Copyright © 2015. The Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand
Idiopathic Compartment Syndrome of the Forearm
Young Jun Kim, Duke Whan Chung, and Jung Suk Kim
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Correspondence to: Duke Whan Chung. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Korea. TEL: +82-2-958-8346, FAX: +82-2-964-3865, Email:
Received March 19, 2014; Revised June 01, 2015; Accepted June 04, 2015.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Compartment syndrome is caused by elevated pressure in a restricted compartment. It typically occurs after fractures of the extremities and usually has an acute clinical progression. Chronic compartment syndrome is another relatively well known form, typically associated with forceful exercise. Also, there are various reports of compartment syndrome not associated with typical causes. However, reports on compartment syndrome with unknown etiology are rare and there has been none in Korean literature. We report a case of compartment syndrome with no recognizable cause, hence classified as idiopathic.

Keywords: Compartment syndrome; Upper extremity; Forearm; Idiopathic


Fig. 1
Sagittal T2-weighted fat supression (A), sagittal T1-weighted (B), axial T2-weighted fat supression (C), axial T1-weighted (D) magnetic resonance image of the patient. The fat suppressed T2-weighted magnetic resonance image demonstrating increased signal of flexor muscle groups especially involving deep layer of entire forearm with dorsal bulging of interosseous membrane between ulna and radius and T1-weighted image shows similar signal intensity to that of normal muscle.
Click for larger image


Table 1
Etiology of compartment syndrome
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