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In the absence of obvious trauma, diagnosis of acute compartment syndrome (ACS) of the thigh can easily be delayed, as disproportional pain is not always present. We present a case of ACS of the anterior right thigh compartment in a healthy, semiprofessional rugby player with normal coagulation, who sustained a seemingly innocuous blow during a rugby match. Following early surgical fasciotomy, he returned to his preinjury playing standards within 12 months. Our literature review suggests that high muscle mass, young, athletic males participating in a contact sport are mostly at risk of developing ACS of the thigh.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Case Rep

Publication Date





Adult, Athletic Injuries, Compartment Syndromes, Fascia, Fasciotomy, Football, Humans, Male, Muscles, Risk Factors, Thigh