BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007288
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Postoperative rhabdomyolysis: a completely localised and symmetrical phenomenon?

  1. Alexander Andreou2
  1. 1Biomedical and Experimental Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tirana; Hygeia Hospital, Tirana, Albania
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery & Interventional Neuroradiology, Hygeia Hospital, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gentian Vyshka, gvyshka{at}


The aim of this case report is to describe an unusual case, where rhabdomyolysis was completely confined to both anterior tibial muscles, with sparing of the posterior compartments (no involvement of gastrocnemii). The patient had undergone a 3 h craniotomy and was weaned from ventilator support on postoperative day 1. All haemodynamic and vital parameters were within normal limits. However, severe pain (8/10 on the visual analogue scale) was felt in lateral-anterior tibial compartments bilaterally; creatine kinase (CK) value was found to be abnormally high. An MRI of both tibial regions was performed, that showed very particular findings. The patient complained of foot drop and pain worsening during standing; he recovered completely within 2 months following the surgery, with serum CK dropping considerably within this period.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article