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Compartment Syndrome Lawyers in Santa Barbara


Serious Complication of Crush Injuries and Fractures

Compartment syndrome is a dangerous health condition that requires emergency medical treatment. It involves an increase in pressure within a muscle compartment of the leg or arm due to bleeding and swelling of the muscle tissues. This pressure can restrict blood supply to the limb and cause nerve and tissue damage. Symptoms of compartment syndrome include numbness, severe pain, and decreased range of motion in the affected limb.

As experienced personal injury attorneys, we at NordstrandBlack PC know just how devastating this condition can be, both in the short term and long term. That is why we want to offer help to those who have suffered compartment syndrome as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one have developed compartment syndrome due to another party’s actions, call our firm at (805) 962-2022 and find out how we can help you.

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How Compartment Syndrome Happens

Muscles in the arms and legs are encased in the fascia, which are thick bands of fibrous tissue. Fascia are incredibly stiff in order to give our limbs proper shape, but that lack of flexibility is exactly what makes compartment syndrome so dangerous. When an injury such as a fracture occurs, it can cause bruise the muscle, causing swelling and bleeding, which in turn increases the pressure in the compartment. High pressure in a compartment interferes with blood flow, decreasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the area and causing nerve and muscle cells to die.

Compartment syndrome can result from injuries sustained in a range of accidents, including:

Any accident that could potentially result in a serious bruise to the muscles within fascia can cause compartment syndrome. While you may assume compartment syndrome is an easy fix, the truth is it is a medical emergency. Compartment syndrome can be difficult to catch right away, and if it isn’t treated fast enough, then there can be dire consequences.

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The Long-Term Impact of Compartment Syndrome

Without immediate medical treatment, complications of compartment syndrome may be irreversible. As swelling and pressure increase and the muscle loses blood supply, the muscle can essentially starve and suffocate. This can result in cell death and muscle necrosis (death of all or most of the cells). Complications may include:

  • Amputation
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Kidney damage
  • Infection
  • Muscle scarring
  • Loss of limb function

On top of those catastrophic complications, compartment syndrome causes considerable pain and discomfort and requires emergency surgery. It can lead to permanent damage and loss of use or amputation of the affected limb. Complications of compartment syndrome can be life-threatening. This condition can lead to permanent disability and a significant reduction in quality of life.

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Treating Compartment Syndrome

Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency. It can cause permanent nerve and muscle damage if the pressure within the compartment is not resolved within a few hours. If excessive pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness occurs after an injury, it is crucial to get immediate medical attention. The arms and legs are most frequently affected by compartment syndrome, but it can also occur in the hand, the buttocks or a foot after a bone is fractured or crush injuries are sustained.

Surgery is the only treatment for acute compartment syndrome caused by an injury. The technical term for the procedure is a “fasciotomy.” The surgeon performs this operation by making an incision in the fascia (fibrous bands encasing the muscle) to relieve the pressure within the muscle compartment. If swelling is severe, the incision may be left open, and a second surgery may be required to close the skin when the swelling has subsided.

Any form of surgery is likely to be expensive, even one as minimal as a fasciotomy. That plus the medication you will need to recover, as well as the sick time you take off from work, will cost you a great deal. Not only is compartment syndrome dangerous for your health, but it is also dangerous for your wallet. Filing a claim against the party responsible for your injuries may be the only way to properly recover the damages you suffered.

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Why You Need a Lawyer for Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a painful, potentially life-threatening condition that requires emergency surgery, and in many cases, a second surgery to close the skin. It can lead to permanent physical damage and significantly impact the remainder of your life. If your injuries that led to compartment syndrome were caused by another party’s negligence, your best chance of recovering full and fair compensation is to have an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury attorney by your side.

Call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. Our firm was founded in 1993, and our legal team has more than 30 years of experience. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to negotiate fair settlement terms or take a case to court when necessary.

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