After winning his first fight during UFC Fight Night 158, (Hubbard vs Prepolec) Austin Hubbard required EMERGENCY Surgery for Compartment Syndrome of his upper thigh. In this video I discuss Austin Hubbard’s leg injury in more detail.
Austin required emergency surgery (fasciotomy) to release the pressure in his upper thigh in the hours following his fight. Had he waited to go to the hospital a few more hours, he may have suffered from permeant muscle damage or even required limb amputation. Luckily, he was treated quickly and was back to training within 2 months after his injury. He’s been able to fight in UFC again!
Compartment syndrome of the upper thigh is a very rare complication, and has never before been seen in the UFC prior to Austin’s injury. What is even more unique about this injury is that Austin did not seem to take that many leg kicks during the fight which could contribute to increased swelled of the leg.
Compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure inside the muscles builds up to extreme levels. Muscles are surrounded by facia (covering) which does not stretch well. As the pressure increases in the muscle, there is no where for it to go but to compress the structures inside (blood vessels and nerves). This can cause rapid death of tissues and permanent nerve damage if not fixed in a timely fashion.
Compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency. Main symptoms include:
– Pain or pain with passive stretching
– Parasthesias (numbness)
– Pallor (whiteness of the skin)
– Poikilothermia (difference in skin temperature)
If an athlete is diagnosed with compartment syndrome, they may require a fasciotomy. This is a surgical procedure that is performed to cut down the facia surrounding the muscle to allow it to expand outwards. If surgery is performed in a timely fashion, usually people recover quite well with no complications.
I am a resident doctor training to become a sports medicine specialist. I make videos simplifying sport injuries making them easier to understand and go over how a doctor reacts to these injuries on the sidelines. We will review the anatomy, important things to consider, and discuss return to play. I will also discuss what the injury means for the athlete and their team’s future.
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