Surgery Open Science 3, 16 - 21 (2021).
Prevention of well-leg compartment syndrome following lengthy medical operations in the lithotomy position


Hara K, Kuroki T, Kaneko S, Taniguchi K, Fukuda M, Onita T, Sawai T




Purpose Compartment syndrome that occurs after lengthy surgery in the lithotomy position is known as well-leg compartment syndrome. It has serious consequences for patients, including amyotrophic renal failure, limb loss, and sometimes even death. This study aimed to identify effective preventive measures against well-leg compartment syndrome using a retrospective cohort study of 1,951 patients (985 and 966 in the prevention and control groups, respectively). Material and methods The following preventive interventions were analyzed: (1) changing from the lithotomy position to the open-leg position, (2) removing lower leg pressure caused by the lithotomy position, (3) limiting leg elevation based on the height of the right atrium, (4) horizontally repositioning the operating table every 3 hours, and (5) decompressing the contact area of the lower leg in the lithotomy position during operation. Results Eight cases of well-leg compartment syndrome occurred in the control group, whereas no well-leg compartment syndrome occurred in the prevention group. Conclusion These findings suggest that the five interventions assessed can prevent the development of well-leg compartment syndrome.