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Compartment syndrome and car accidents: What you should know

Car accidents can result in a variety of catastrophic injuries. Compartment syndrome is one of them. 

While some people may recover from such injuries, many people suffer lasting complications associated with this injury. You may find it helpful to learn what some symptoms of this medical ailment are and how it can impact you in the long term. 

What causes compartment syndrome?

Compartment syndrome is a painful and dangerous disorder caused by increased pressure within an individual’s muscles in their arms or legs. It most commonly results from someone’s involvement in a car accident, an exercise-related injury or after a slip-and-fall accident.

Sometimes a bone fracture involves significant enough pressure to result in the onset of a compartment syndrome. Once started, compartment syndrome can lead to intramuscular bleeding, resulting in decreased blood supply leading to the affected limb and nerve damage.

What symptoms indicate compartment syndrome?

Individuals diagnosed with compartment syndrome may experience various symptoms, including severe pain, numbness and decreased range of motion in the affected limb. Some patients with more acute compartment injuries may require a fasciotomy to alleviate muscle pressure and restore blood flow.

While muscle loss and nerve damage are fairly standard complications associated with compartment syndrome, some patients may also experience infections, amputations and kidney failure. Patients can minimize the chances of these more severe complications by elevating and icing their affected extremities. 

Can you hold someone accountable for your compartment syndrome?

Any party injured in a motor vehicle collision may have the right to recover compensation for medical bills and other expenses from the driver who caused the crash. Whether you were a driver or a passenger, it may be wise to speak with an attorney about your situation as soon as practical.  

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