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Compartment Syndrome

Compartment Syndrome is a serious condition, which if not diagnosed promptly can result in damage to nerves and muscles, reduced function and in some severe cases, amputation of the affected limb.

What is Compartment Syndrome?

Muscles are separated by a thick layer of tissue called fascia. Each fascia contains a group of muscles which is known as a compartment. Each compartment contains muscle tissue, nerves and blood vessels. Compartment Syndrome is a build-up of pressure within a compartment, usually as a result of excessive bleeding or swelling. Because the fascia does not expand, excessive pressure will compress the muscle tissue, nerves and blood vessels, meaning blood flow will be blocked resulting in necrosis (death) of the muscle in the compartment unless the pressure is relieved.

Causes of Compartment Syndrome?

  • Trauma, such as a crush injury or a broken bone
  • Surgery
  • Vigorous exercise
  • A plaster cast or bandage that is too tight
  • Burns
  • A very bruised muscle
  • Snake bites
  • Extravasation injury (intravenous drugs that leak inside the arm)
  • Clinical negligence

Symptoms of Compartment Syndrome

  • Severe pain which is disproportionate to the injury
  • Increasing pain despite immobilisation
  • Burning and/or tingling sensation around the affected area
  • Reduced sensation in the affected arm or leg
  • Swelling and tenderness of the affected compartment
  • Tightness in the muscle
  • Pale and cold limb

Treatment

Usually urgent surgery is required in acute compartment syndrome to perform a decompression surgery called a fasciotomy to relieve the pressure to the compartment and restore blood supply.

Delayed Diagnosis

Failing to diagnose, or failing to commence treatment promptly once compartment syndrome has been diagnosed can result in:

  • Permanent muscle damage
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Reduced function and permanent disability
  • Permanent scarring due to the fasciotomy surgery
  • Amputation of the affected limb
  • Infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

How we can help?

When medical treatment goes wrong, only lawyers with expert legal knowledge will do. Here at Joseph James Law we recognise the devastating effect that a catastrophic injury can have. We understand that a serious injury can be a severe financial, physical and psychological burden on the whole family. We understand the importance of compensation and can help you obtain a settlement that will help with any financial and future care needs that you may have.

Our clinical negligence team have a strong medical background with some team members having previously been Registered General Nurses before qualifying as solicitors. Some of our solicitors are also members of the Law Society Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel and are recognised experts in conducting high value, catastrophic injury claims.

For a free and confidential assessment of your potential claim by our Specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors please contact us on Freephone 0800 999 1234.

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