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Compartment Syndrome- What Wisconsin Accident Victims Should Know

Compartment syndrome is an extremely serious condition that is most often seen in people with crush injuries such as those sustained in a motorcycle or car accident.  The condition is caused by a swelling in the thick layers of tissue that separate groups of muscle in the arms and legs.  Therefore this condition is most often seen in injured arms and legs and usually the lower portion of these extremities such as the foot and hand.  As Milwaukee accident attorneys we have seen accident victims suffer excruciating pain, even amputation due to the severity of this injury.  Too often compartment syndrome is not found until the swelling has done irreparable damage. 

  • Symptoms- The primary symptom of compartment syndrome is a pain in the limb that does not go away when you take pain medicine or raise the affected area. Other symptoms include decreased sensation, paleness of skin, severe pain that increases and weakness.
  • Exams and Tests- A physical exam is the primary route to diagnosing compartment syndrome. The exam will test to see if there is pain when the affected area, or compartment, is squeezed, severe pain when the affected limb is moved and the presence of swollen and shiny skin. To confirm the diagnosis the physician can measure the pressure in the compartment with a needle attached to a pressure meter. The needle is inserted into the area and readings from the test will confirm compartment syndrome.
  • Treatment- Surgery is required for confirmed cases of compartment syndrome. Long surgical cuts will be made through the fascia to relieve the pressure. The wounds are left open to allow the release of pressure and will be closed during a second surgery 48-72 hours later.
  • Complications- Severe and permanent nerve and muscle damage is possible, caused by the severe swelling. In severe and untreated cases the damage may necessitate an amputation.

Compartment syndrome is one that must be diagnosed and treated quickly.  Serious complications generally only arise when it is not caught and treated soon after the initial injury and swelling.

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident you have more questions than answers.  Though we attempt to give you basic medical and legal information through our site only a doctor can properly diagnose and treat your injuries.  If you need legal advice then turn to the premier personal injury law firm in Wisconsin- Hupy & Abraham.  We have been winning maximum compensation for our clients for over 30 years.  See what a difference a winning record makes.  Contact an attorney today.