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Denver Compartment Syndrome Lawyers

Compartment Syndrome Explained

Compartment syndrome is caused by a build-up of pressure in a limb. Our limbs house groups of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles that are covered by a membrane known as fascia. These groups are called compartments. Fascia is incredibly tough, offering extra support to our body, and so it does not expand or stretch easily. This means that if there is swelling or bleeding inside a compartment, then there is nowhere for that extra pressure to go. This can cause a lack of blood flow to the muscles and nerves within the compartment, which can, in turn, cause the muscles to become damaged and even die.

Acute compartment syndrome usually develops following a severe injury from a car crash or bone fracture. It can also occur following a surgical procedure repairing a bone fracture. The development of the swelling or bleeding can occur over the course of hours or days.

Acute compartment syndrome is considered an emergent medical condition that needs immediate diagnosis and surgical intervention, known as a fasciotomy. To quickly diagnose acute compartment syndrome, the compartment pressures of the suspected area need to be gauged.

Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. has prosecuted many cases regarding compartment syndrome. We have seen firsthand just how much pain the victims are left in. They suffer through the consequences, for a lengthy period of time or even their entire lives, despite the fact that it is often not their fault. Compartment syndrome can often be caught early if doctors are paying close enough attention and acting responsibly. If you or a loved one have suffered compartment syndrome that was not treated in time or was the fault of a negligent doctor, then contact us online or call (303) 759-9945 to speak to a top Denver medical malpractice lawyer about your case.

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When Is Compartment Syndrome Medical Malpractice?

Compartment syndrome may be caused by someone else’s negligence – for example, the guy who crashed into you, or the landlord who didn’t repair a broken guardrail on the stairs. In those cases, you are justified in filing a personal injury lawsuit against that person’s insurance company.

But after the injury, compartment syndrome may actually develop due to poor hospital care. For example, if 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 directly caused by your doctor if they gave you too tight a cast, or wrapped bandages in such a way that caused heavy constriction to your impacted limb. There is a particularly high chance of this happening with young children, as they cannot properly articulate that there may be a problem. An experienced doctor should know how tightly to apply a cast and should understand that there are dangers if that cast is too restrictive.

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Symptoms of Compartment Syndrome

The most common sign of compartment syndrome is a constant, nagging pain in the impacted limb. Many other symptoms can accompany this pain, however. For example, you may be suffering from acute compartment syndrome if you are experiencing:

  • Numbness
  • Lack of motor control in the affected limb
  • A tightening of muscles
  • A burning or pins and needles sensation
  • Swelling
  • A weakened pulse in the affected limb
  • The affected limb tuning a dusty or pale color

Not all of these symptoms need to be apparent in order for you to be diagnosed with compartment syndrome. The most important symptom is the pain that just won’t seem to go away. Either way, if you have these symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as is possible. Compartment syndrome can be dangerous if left untreated.

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Treatment for and the Long-Term Impact of Compartment Syndrome

The only way to properly treat acute compartment syndrome is through surgery. The surgeon makes an incision on the impacted limb, cutting through the fascia, relieving the pressure that has built up and giving the cells space to expand. This procedure is called a fasciotomy and should be performed quickly after diagnosis.

If too much time is allowed to pass before treatment, there are potentially lifelong consequences that can occur. Unfortunately, compartment syndrome is not easy to diagnose, and so your doctor is likely to have to rule out other potential conditions first. If this process takes too long, you 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

There are potential complications even after treatment, as the surgery needed to treat compartment syndrome can leave behind scars or become infected. If you were not given adequate treatment for your compartment syndrome, or your treatment was not given in time, you will likely suffer consequences for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that you were likely not the one who caused your injury. That’s why you should seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. A good attorney will fight to get you the compensation you need to live a comfortable life, despite your injuries.

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Our Trial Lawyers Know Compartment Syndrome

Our team won a $6.5 million 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, he developed compartment syndrome. Thanks 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 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.

Call (877) 433-3906 to set up your no-cost consultation. Since 1981, our firm has been handling complex medical malpractice and personal injury claims across the United States. Our cases have broken state records and changed public policy, but our clients are what comes first.

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Additional Information

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(877) 433-3906(303) 759-9945

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Denver, Colorado 80246

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Denver Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Firm Disclaimer: The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney–client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular legal matter.

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