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Chronic Lumbar Compartment Syndrome & Rhabdomyolysis

By November 22, 2011 - 2:55am
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Back on September 11 I got compartment syndrome in my lower back and it affected half of my left Gluteal muscle, because the hospital that I presented to had never heard of it before they dismissed it entirely so it ended up strangling the muscle and causing Rhabdomyolysis. My CK levels went through the roof so I was given IV fluid treament until my CK levels returned to a normal level. I was sent home for 3 weeks and was told that my mobility would return along with the lack of feeling that I have in the affected areas. I was re-admitted to hospital on the 13th October under a Rheumatology Specialist and had a repeat MRI which showed the same image as the scan that was taken on my original admission. The radiologist stated that the image showed that I still had compartment syndrome of the lumbar region they also referred to it as paraspinal compartment syndrome. The dr's have tried prednisolone tablets and intravenously along with Cortisone injections into my back, along with other treatments, but my back is not responding to any of the treatments and the inflammation won't settle. I am at my wit's end with this as I have 3 young children at home that I would do anything to get home to and was wondering if you have heard of any similar cases or could give me some direction in where to go from here.

Many thanks =)

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Hi Renao,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I am shocked that the hospital you went to didn't know what compartment syndrome was. 

You may either need physical therapy or surgery in the long run if it doesn't help. 

Treatment options for compartment syndrome include the following:


Surgery, called fasciotomy, is the main treatment for CCS. This is done to open the compartment and relieve pressure. The doctor makes a long slice into the fascia to open the envelope of tissue and relieve pressure. It takes about three months to recover. You will have to do physical therapy.

Nonsurgical Approaches

If you decide not to have surgery, your doctor may recommend that you:

  • Stop the activity that is causing CCS and rest.
  • Change your training routine.
  • Do physical therapy.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants.


Please ask your doctor for a PT referral if you are not currently going to Physical Therapy. 


Here's some more information on compartment syndrome for you: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/chronic-compartment-syndrome

And just so that you know exactly what they did when they strangled the muscle, here is some information on Rhabdomyolysis: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/rhabdomyolysis

Let me know if this helps,


November 22, 2011 - 4:31am
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