Fascial compartment

Fascial compartment

Cross-section through middle of left leg. (Anterior compartment at upper left; lateral at center left; deep posterior at center; superficial posterior at bottom right.)
Latin compartmentum

Anatomical terminology

A fascial compartment is a section within the body that contains muscles and nerves and is surrounded by fascia. In the human body, the limbs can each be divided into two segments – the upper limb can be divided into the arm and the forearm and the sectional compartments of both of these – the fascial compartments of the arm and the fascial compartments of the forearm contain an anterior and a posterior compartment. Likewise, the lower limbs can be divided into two segments – the leg and the thigh and these contain the fascial compartments of the leg and the fascial compartments of the thigh.


If these segments are cut transversely, it is apparent that they are divided into multiple sections. These are called fascial compartments, and are formed by tough connective tissue septa.

These compartments usually have a separate nerve and blood supply to their neighbours. The muscles in each compartment will often all be supplied by the same nerve. [1]

Sometimes the segment is also covered by bone profoundly (as e.g. the brachial fascia). It is distinguished from pharmacokinetic compartment, which is a defined volume of body fluids.

Clinical significance

Main article: Compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome is an acute medical problem following injury or surgery in which increased pressure (usually caused by inflammation) occurs within a compartment.


  1. Check - must have at least one reference.
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