I did my project on the a condition within the circulatory system in the lower limb called compartment syndrome. This is a very rare condition that is caused by pressure build up in the muscles, the most common place for this to happen is in the calf. When this does happen it cuts off blood circulation as the swelling of the muscles pushes into the arteries and veins. The muscles within our calfs our divided into multiple compartments with the help of fascias, however the fascia is not flexible and is the root cause of compartment syndrome. In the attached drawing you can see what muscles are in what compartments, where the veins and arteries are within the calf as well as the effects of compartment syndrome which includes swelling and color discoloration in the calf, foot and toes.

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  1. Madelyn did her project on compartment syndrome which is a rare condition that typically occurs in the lower extremities. This occurs when muscles swell or contract around the veins and arteries cutting off blood supply to the extremity and increasing pressure in the muscle. When the muscle builds up too much pressure it no longer fits into its compartment since the thick fascia does not flex resulting in compartment syndrome. She also explains that more than one compartment in the same extremity can experience compartment syndrome because they all experience the same pressure and it is difficult to target only one. Symptoms she provided included intense pain, tenderness in the limb, tightness of the muscle, a tingling or burning sensation, numbness and weakness. She also pointed out that the majority of the symptoms occur as a result from lack of blood flow and circulation. Madelyn also explained the effects of compartment syndrome such as loss of limb or rhabdomyolysis with the release of potassium, myoglobin and toxins into the systemic circulation system. She also explained the treatment as a fasciotomy which is a surgical procedure where a surgeon cuts into the limb to open the fascia and relieve the pressure. After this procedure the fascia will regrow larger to allow for more room but is some cases this does not happen and patients have compartment syndrome again caused by the scar tissue or because the fascia grows back to its normal size.

    Anthony Cordova

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