Introduction: Closed fractures of leg are common following RTA, which requires immobilization and leg elevation above heart level to reduce oedema formation and increase of compartment pressure leg elevation is routine in pre operative and post operative period to reduce intra compartment pressure whereas optimum height of elevation has not been standardized till now. Inadvertent elevation of leg decreases venous oedema whereas chances of muscle ischemia increases with prolonged and inappropriate elevation of leg. So determination of appropriate level of leg elevation above heart level by invasive method by white side’s method will help reduce muscle ischemia and discomfort to the patient.
Purpose: To determine optimum height of leg elevation above heart level to reduce intra compartmental pressure.
Methods: Patients at KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital with closed fractures of leg. Anterior compartment pressure measured with Whiteside’s invasive method .Patients were randomly divided into two groups Group A: 15 cm of leg elevation and Group B:30 cm of leg elevation
Results: In this study 60 patients with closed fractures of tibia were selected for intra compartmental pressure monitoring and randomised for different weights of leg elevation i.e., Group A 15 cm above heart level and Group B 30 cm above heart level. The mean age of leg fractures in our study was 40.1 years. Male subjects were 85% (mean = 53) and female were 17% (mean = 7) of total of 60 patients.
The measurement of compartment pressure of normal leg was 9.4 ± 2.5 mm Hg. Pressure were measured within 5 cm of fracture site at 0 hr, 12 hr, 24 hr and 48 hr interval using Whiteside’s method. The mean values at 0 hr were 29.17 ± 5.95 mm Hg, at 12 hr interval it was 29.97 ± 5.46 mm Hg, at 24 hr interval it was 23.36 ± 3.8 mm Hg and at 48 hr interval it was in Group A. The mean values at 0 hr were 32 ± 7.8 mm Hg, at 12 hr interval it was 32.33 ±57.65 mm Hg, at 24 hr interval it was 26.48 ± 3.5 mm Hg and at 48 hr interval it was in 25.19 ± 2.56 mm Hg in Group B. In our study 5 patients out of 60 underwent fasciotomy. All patients had differential or delta pressure below 30 mm Hg before fasciotomy.
Conclusion: Tibia fractures are commonest cause of compartment syndrome of leg. Whiteside’s method is a reliable and safe method of measuring intra compartment pressure when sophisticated methods are not available. Inappropriate levels of leg elevation causes muscle ischemia. Elevation of leg to 15 cm leads same clinical results as 30 cm with the advantage of avoiding muscle ischaemia. There is further need for evaluation of different heights of leg elevation and review about our practice of leg elevation.