New BOA-backed guideline for well-leg compartment syndrome published

Patients undergoing prolonged pelvic surgery may develop lower limb compartment syndrome in the absence of trauma. This condition, known as well leg compartment syndrome (WLCS), is relatively uncommon but potentially devastating and has been recognised for almost 30 years. Delayed diagnosis and treatment may lead to severe adverse consequences, including loss of limb and/or life following otherwise uncomplicated pelvic surgery.

In order not only to protect our patients from harm but also to reduce the likelihood of criticism (including civil claims) brought against surgeons involved in treating patients at risk of developing this condition, a multidisciplinary team of pelvic, vascular and orthopaedic surgeons have reviewed the available evidence and recently published clinical guidelines, on behalf of the relevant surgical specialty associations, on the prevention, diagnosis and initial management of patients at risk of WLCS.

These guidelines, including the relevant professional standards, have been formally endorsed by The British Orthopaedic Association and are made available here for free download as an open access publication in the British Journal of Surgery.