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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Gluteal compartment syndrome after lumbar laminectomy


Gluteal compartment syndrome may, in its severe form, have serious consequences. It may result in severe rhabdomyolysis, and if left untreated it can result in acute renal collapse, multiorgan failure and even death. The present report concerns a patient who developed a gluteal compartment syndrome after lumbar surgery. The syndrome was complicated by acute renal failure with high concentrations of serum creatinine kinase, myoglobin, and potassium, requiring acute haemodialysis before surgical release. The operation revealed increased intracompartmental pressure with weak or absent reaction of muscles to electric stimulation. To prevent the development of gluteal compartment syndrome during operative procedures, it is important to avoid harmful pressure to the gluteal regions on the operating table. It is also important to optimise muscle circulation by adequate hydration therapy and avoidance of nephrotoxic stimuli. If gluteal compartment syndrome develops, immediate diagnosis and surgical decompression are mandatory .

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