June 1972

Volkmann's Contracture Associated With Prolonged External Pressure on the Forearm

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the departments of orthopedics, University of Southern California School of Medicine (Drs. Osborne and Harvey) and Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center (Drs. Osborne, Dorey, and Harvey), Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(6):794-798. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180060044011

Seven patients had prolonged external pressure on the forearm associated with drug-induced comas. All were examined within a few days after the initial injury. Circulation was normal, but nerve and muscle functions were impaired in each case. In five cases surgical excision of the necrotic muscle and neurolysis were done within two weeks of the injury. None of these cases developed significant contractures. Two patients who refused early surgical treatment developed severe Volkmann's contracture.