Prophylactic fasciotomy in a porcine model of extremity trauma

Thomas J. Percival, Shimul Patel, Nickolay P. Markov, Jonathan J. Morrison, Jerry R. Spencer, James D. Ross, Todd E. Rasmussen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Extremity injury, with concomitant hemorrhagic shock, can result in ischemia -reperfusion injury and the formation of compartment syndrome requiring fasciotomy. As the benefit of prophylactic fasciotomy is unclear, the objective of this study is to determine the functional recovery of an ischemic limb with hemorrhagic shock after prophylactic fasciotomy. Material and methods: Yorkshire swine underwent 35% blood volume hemorrhage, followed by 1, 3, and 6 h of ischemia (n = 17; 1HR, 3HR, and 6HR) via iliac artery occlusion followed by repair and reperfusion. A second cohort (n = 18) underwent fasciotomy of the anterior compartment of the hind limb following vascular repair (1HR-F, 3HR-F, and 6HR-F). Compartment pressures, measures of electromyographic (EMG) recovery, and a validated gait score (modified Tarlov) were performed throughout a 14-d survival period. Results: Increasing ischemic intervals resulted in incremental increases in compartment pressure (P < 0.05), although the mean did not exceed 30 mm Hg. EMG studies did not show a significant improvement comparing the 3HR with 6HR groups. There was a significant improvement in the EMG studies within the 3HR-F, when compared with 6HR-F. There was a trend toward sensory improvement between the 3HR-F and 3HR groups. However, this did not translate to a difference in functional outcome as measured by the Tarlov gait score. Conclusions: Within this swine model of hemorrhagic shock and hind limb ischemia, the use of prophylactic fasciotomies did not improve functional outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-457
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Extremity
  • Fasciotomy
  • Functional
  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Neuromuscular
  • Recovery
  • Vascular injury


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