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Case Report

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

Authors: Flautt W, Miller J

The etiology 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 intra-compartmental 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 utilization of a recommended post-operative protocol in a Special Forces Soldier. 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. Following recommended protocol guidelines he was progressed rapidly and within three months deployed without restriction or complications in a demanding combat zone. 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.

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