Post-surgical Rehabilitation following Fasciotomies for Bilateral CECS in a Special Forces Soldier: A Case Report

Research Paper Title

Post-surgical Rehabilitation following Fasciotomies for Bilateral Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome in a Special Forces Soldier: A Case Report.

Background

The aetiology of Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS) is still unclear. The most commonly accepted theory suggests that it is a transient but debilitating process where there is an abnormally increased intracompartmental pressure during exercise/exertion due to non-compliant expansion of the osteofascial tissues. This most commonly occurs in the lower leg. Surgical intervention is often performed for symptom relief. However, there has been limited scientifically-based publication on post-surgical rehabilitation, especially with regard to return to function in the military population. The purpose of this case report is to demonstrate the utilisation of a recommended post-operative protocol in a Special Forces Soldier.

Case Description

The subject presented as a 25-year-old US Army Special Forces Soldier, who failed 8 weeks of conservative management for the diagnosis of CECS and subsequently underwent bilateral lower leg fasciotomies of the anterior and lateral compartments.

Outcomes

Following recommended protocol guidelines he was progressed rapidly and within three months deployed without restriction or complications in a demanding combat zone.

Discussion

This case report illustrates that following clearly defined, scientifically-based rehabilitation guidelines helped in addressing all of the involved structures and musculoskeletal dysfunctions that presented following the surgical intervention for CECS in a unique subject.

Level of Evidence

Five

Reference

Flautt, W. & Miller, J. (2013) Post-surgical Rehabilitation following Fasciotomies for Bilateral Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome in a Special Forces Soldier: A Case Report. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 8(5), pp.701-715.

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