Circumventing Acute Compartment Syndrome: Outcomes from a Cadaver-based Course in Fasciotomy Procedural Skills


Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) represents a surgical emergency requiring effective, complete fasciotomy. The purpose of this study is to evaluate cadaver-based training on the ability of practicing general surgeons to effectively perform upper extremity, thigh, and leg fasciotomies. One hundred seventeen general surgeons underwent a 2-day, cadaver-based course with formative and summative assessments based on validated scoring tools. Overall performance and critical item scores were recorded and compared utilizing analysis of variance with repeated measures and eta-squared values to evaluate effect size. For all three procedures, post-training scores were significantly improved when compared with pre-training scores (p < 0.001). Mean pre-training score for lower leg fasciotomy met the standard for competent performance of the procedure (total score > 80), whereas neither thigh nor upper extremity performance scores met this standard before training. This 2-day, cadaver-based course improves the ability of practicing general surgeons to effectively and independently perform upper extremity, thigh, and lower leg fasciotomies. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 32(4):238-241, 2023)

Key words: fasciotomy, assessment, education

SKU: JSOA-2023-32-4-2 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Christopher H. Renninger, MD; Christopher S. Smith, MD; Jennifer A. Sanville; Mark W. Bowyer, MD; and Pamela B. Andreatta, PhD