Compartment syndrome after a car accident is a painful condition that that occurs when high levels of pressure build inside compartments in your muscles. This pressure can lead to muscle and nerve damage because the compartments do not stretch. It can also prevent blood from flowing to the area where your muscles have swollen.
This condition is most common in the lower leg, but victims may also experience compartment syndrome in their hand, foot, thigh, or arm.
Below are several examples of how compartment syndrome can occur and the symptoms you need to be aware of if an accident causes you to suffer from this condition.
Are there different types of compartment syndrome?
There are two different types of compartment syndrome: chronic and acute.
Chronic Compartment Syndrome
Chronic compartment syndrome is the mildest version of this condition.
It typically develops over several days or weeks and is most often the result of doing intense exercises that require repetitive motions, like running, biking or swimming.
Chronic compartment syndrome is usually not dangerous; you can likely treat it by simply discontinuing for your exercise routine for a short period of time.
Acute Compartment Syndrome
Acute compartment syndrome is much more serious.
It develops over a few hours and is often the result of a serious injury or bone fracture. It can result from:
- A car crash
- A blood clot
- A severe burn
- Bandaging that is too tight and constricts blood flow
Acute compartment syndrome is a very serious condition that requires immediate surgical treatment.
Without emergency treatment, you may experience permanent muscle damage.
Symptoms of Compartment Syndrome
Anyone suffering from compartment syndrome will likely experience severe pain when the muscle within the compartment begins to stretch.
Even pain medication is unable to help ease this pain in the muscle.
Other symptoms you may experience include:
- Visible bulges in the muscle (chronic compartment syndrome)
- Decreased sensation
- Numbness and/or paralysis
- A tingling or burning sensation
- Paleness in your skin tone
To diagnose the condition accurately, doctors usually insert a needle into the strained area of your body to measure the pressure inside the body compartment.
Complications That Arise from Compartment Syndrome
Aside from severe pain, there are a number of other complications that you are likely to experience if you suffer from compartment syndrome.
In many cases, surgery is necessary to treat the symptoms and that can lead to:
- Costly medical bills
- Lost wages or earnings from being unable to work
- Severe pain and suffering
- Missed trips or time spent with family members
What to Do If an Accident Causes You to Suffer from Compartment Syndrome
If you fall victim to compartment syndrome as a result of an accident that was beyond your control, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation.
New York based personal injury law firm Goldstein & Bashner can help.
We have over 25 years of experience getting injury victims the help and compensation they deserve after an accident.
Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with one of our Long Island car accident attorneys.
Contact us today: 516-222-4000.