Skip to main content

Volkmann Ischemic Contracture

Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

An irreversible flexion contracture at the wrist following ischemic injury (most commonly from compartment syndrome): 
  • Compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure within the closed ...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Trauma; fracture

  • Tourniquet use

  • Prior compartment syndrome

  • Arterial embolus

  • Burns

  • Muscle hypertrophy/overtraining of upper extremities

  • Overly tight bandages/dressings

  • Snake bite or insect st...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

The only appropriate treatment for acute compartment syndrome is surgical release. 
  • Failure to diagnose or treat compartment syndrome can lead to irreversible damage.

  • Preventio...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Physical and occupational therapy to maximize limb function

  • Follow-up with orthopedic surgeon to determine the need for surgical revision (6)[B]

PROGNOSIS

  • Prognosis ...

REFERENCES

1
McDonald S, Bearcroft P. Compartment syndromes. Semin Musculoskelet Radiol.  2010;14(2):236–244. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Garner AJ, Handa A. Screening tools in the diagnosis of...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Blakemore LC, Cooperman DR, Thompson GH, et al. Compartment syndrome in ipsilateral humerus and forearm fractures in children. Clin Orthop Relat Res.  2000;376:32–38.

  • Botte MJ, ...

CODES

ICD10

  • T79.6XXA Traumatic ischemia of muscle, initial encounter

  • T79.6XXD Traumatic ischemia of muscle, subsequent encounter

  • T79.6XXS Traumatic ischemia of muscle, sequela

ICD9

958.6 Volkmann's ischemi...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Volkmann ischemic contractures are most common in pediatric upper extremity fractures with associated compartment syndrome.

  • Early diagnosis and surgical decompression prevents this debi...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.

×