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There are two kinds of compartment syndrome:

  • Acute compartment syndrome is usually caused by a bad injury and is a medical emergency. Without treatment, acute compartment syndrome can permanently damage muscles. It can also lead to disability, paralysis or even death.
  • Chronic compartment syndrome usually isn’t an emergency. It’s often caused by physical exertion, such as intense exercise. Healthcare providers sometimes call it exertional compartment syndrome for that reason.


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