BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007710
  • Rare disease

Acute gluteal compartment syndrome: superior gluteal artery rupture following a low energy injury

  1. Hersh Deo3
  1. 1Department of Radiology, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull, Yorkshire, UK
  2. 2Department of General Surgery, James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth, UK
  3. 3Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aubrey Smith, aubrey.smith{at}


Acute compartment syndrome affecting the gluteal region is rare when compared to the same condition in the forearm or calf. When it does occur, it is usually due to prolonged immobilisation in those with altered consciousness. Gluteal compartment syndrome resulting from injury to the superior gluteal artery is extremely rare and to our knowledge has been described only twice—both after high-energy road traffic accidents (RTA). Other cases have described profound hypotension with superior gluteal artery injury after an RTA and falling off a horse, without acute gluteal compartment syndrome. We present a case of gluteal compartment syndrome due to rupture of the superior gluteal artery following a relatively minor fall. The patient required an emergency fasciotomy, which was performed within 4 h of the injury. This case highlights the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of this rare condition.

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