Denver Compartment Syndrome Lawyers
Compartment syndrome is a hazardous condition that may cause long-term harm if not properly diagnosed and treated in time. But it can be caught early if doctors are paying close attention and acting responsibly.
If you or a loved one has suffered compartment syndrome that was not treated in time or was caused by a negligent doctor, contact us online or call (303) 759-9945 to speak to a top Denver medical malpractice lawyer about your case.
Groups of muscles and nerves are organized into areas called compartments. Compartment syndrome occurs when excessive pressure builds inside an enclosed muscle space in the body. This increased pressure can compress blood vessels and nerves. If the pressure is not released, the vessels and nerves can be permanently injured. A timely diagnosis and emergency surgery is required to prevent permanent damage.
Acute compartment syndrome is an emergent medical condition that requires immediate diagnosis and surgical intervention. To quickly diagnose acute compartment syndrome, the compartment pressures of the suspected area need to be gauged.
Compartment syndrome usually results from bleeding or swelling after trauma. It develops due to poor hospital care when medical providers:
- Fail to notice signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome
- Fail to rule out compartment syndrome after a trauma
- Fail to treat compartment syndrome quickly and effectively
Compartment syndrome can also be caused directly by your doctor if they gave you a cast that is too tight, or if they wrap bandages in such a way that causes heavy constriction to an impacted limb.
Compartment syndrome is most likely to occur in the legs, arms, or abdomen. The most common sign of compartment syndrome is a constant, nagging pain in the impacted limb. But other symptoms may accompany this pain. You may be suffering from acute compartment syndrome if you are experiencing the “Five Ps” of the condition:
- Pain — a burning or “pins and needles” sensation
- Pallor — pale skin tone
- Parathesis — a feeling of numbness
- Pulselessness — faint pulse in the affected limb
- Paralysis — weakness of motion
Not all the symptoms listed above need to be apparent for a patient to be suffering from compartment syndrome. Doctors may use imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI to detect compartment syndrome. Compartment pressure testing is another way to diagnose the condition in which the doctor inserts a needle connected to a handheld device into the compartment.
Compartment syndrome is very dangerous if left untreated. The only way to properly treat acute compartment syndrome is through surgery. The surgeon makes an incision in the impacted limb, cutting through the fascia, which is the thin tissue that holds muscles, blood vessels, and nerve fiber in place. This relieves the pressure that has built up, giving the cells room to expand. The procedure is called a fasciotomy, and it should be performed as soon as possible after a diagnosis is made.
If too much time is allowed to pass before treatment, there are lifelong consequences that may occur. If this process takes too long, the patient can suffer from:
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Reduced motor abilities in the affected limb
- Kidney damage as a result of chemicals released by dying cells
Our team at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C won a $6.5 million dollar verdict in a jury trial for a New Zealand Olympic Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle coach who experienced medical malpractice. Unfortunately, while demonstrating a basic snowboard maneuver for members of the New Zealand Women’s Olympic Slopeside Snowboard Team, our client hooked an edge of his snowboard and missed the landing of his jump, resulting in a high-energy tibial plateau fracture on his left leg, and a high-energy calcaneal fracture on his right heel.
At St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, he received emergency surgery. But afterward, our client developed compartment syndrome. Due to negligent aftercare, it went undiagnosed for days. Emergency surgeries were required to save his leg and his life, but this top-level athlete is now confined to a wheelchair, suffering complex regional pain syndrome.
If you have questions about a case of compartment syndrome that you or someone you love has suffered, speak to Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. immediately. There is a statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice, and the sooner we examine the evidence, the better. If we see you have a case, we will front all costs for litigation and only take our fee if and when we recover compensation for you.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., our cases have broken state records and changed public policy. Since 1981, our firm has been handling complex medical malpractice and personal injury claims across the United States. Call (303) 759-9945 to arrange your no-cost consultation. Our clients always come first.
- Compartment Syndrome: Causes, Types, and Symptoms - Healthline
- Compartment Syndrome - OrthoInfo - AAOS
- Compartment Syndrome - MedlinePlus