ePlasty: Vol. 18
Compartment Syndrome of the Hand Secondary to Intravenous Extravasation
Cara M. Barber, BS,a Matthew P. Fahrenkopf, MD,a,b Nicholas S. Adams, MD,a,b John P. Kelpin, MD,a,b and Johanna R. Krebiehl, MDa,b,c

aMichigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids; bSpectrum Health/Michigan State University Plastic Surgery Residency, Grand Rapids; and cPlastic Surgery Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich

Correspondence: matt.fahrenkopf@gmail.com
Keywords: compartment syndrome, hand, fasciotomy, trauma, extravasation


An intubated 47-year-old woman postoperative day 1 following spinal surgery was noted to have a large volume of presumed crystalloid intravenous solution extravasation through a peripheral intravenous tube in her left hand. The infiltration went unnoticed for hours as the patient was sedated (Fig 1). After the patient was extubated, she complained of progressive sensorimotor deficits. Compartment syndrome of the hand was suspected, and hand fasciotomies were performed.

Figure 1. Extravasation injury to the left hand. Note loss of skin wrinkles on the dorsum of the hand.