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Infected compartment syndrome after acupuncture
  1. Nasir Shah, Senior House Officer,
  2. Caroline Hing, Research Registrar,
  3. Keith Tucker, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,
  4. Robert Crawford, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
  1. Institute Of Orthopaedics, Norfolk & Norwich, University Hospital, Norwich, UK
  1. nasir.shah{at}


We present a case of septicaemia and compartment syndrome of the leg in a diabetic patient, following acupuncture to his calf. An emergency decompression fasciotomy was performed on the patient and gram-positive cocci were grown from the posterior compartment wound swab cultures and group A streptococcus from his blood cultures. He remained in the Intensive Therapy Unit postoperatively, requiring inotropic support and intravenous antibiotics for his septicaemia. We would like to remind acupuncturists, to consider the possibility of heightened risks in immunocompromised patients.

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