Acute compartment syndromes often develop insidiously and are often recognised too late to prevent permanent disability. Management is difficult as the compartment involved is seldom clinically apparent. By continuously monitoring the intracompartmental pressure these problems can be avoided: transient compartment syndromes can be differentiated from established ones and the correct compartment can be surgically decompressed. Pressure monitoring techniques were used in 28 patients; three developed a compartment syndrome requiring surgical intervention, seven had a temporary increase of pressure and in 18 the pressure remained unaltered. Of the three with compartment syndromes, one was unusual in that it affected the thigh and another, unique in our experience, affected both the thigh and the calf. Intracompartmental pressure monitoring significantly altered the management of two cases giving successful results with minimal intervention.