Thigh Compartment Syndrome

Thigh Compartment Syndrome

Thigh Compartment Syndrome

Thigh Compartment Syndrome. Injuries of the leg can lead to permanent complications and one of these is called thigh compartment syndrome. Of course, this is only one type of many different traumatic injuries that someone might sustain in a car accident. It is important for people to understand where these injuries come from because some of these injuries can be fatal. According to statistics which have been put together by the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT):

  • Close to 40,000 people in the United States are killed in car accidents every year
  • This does not include the close to 2.5 million people who are injured in car accidents yet survive
  • More than 1,500 children aged 15 years or younger are killed in auto accidents on an annual basis
  • Another 8,000 people killed are young drivers between the ages of 16 and 20
  • The total cost of these road crashes is around $230 billion per year

These statistics are alarming and demonstrate just how dangerous it can be to drive a motor vehicle. For this reason, it is important for everyone to understand the traumatic injuries that they might sustain in a car accident and the complications that these injuries can cause.

Injuries of the Thigh: Femur Fractures are Dangerous

Some injuries are more common than others and one of the most frequently seen injuries is a femur fracture or a bone fracture that occurs in the thigh. The femur is one of the thickest bones in the human body and it takes a tremendous amount of force to cause a fracture; however, this can happen. Because the femur is so large, there are also many different complications that can arise. One example is the release of the contents of the bone marrow into the bloodstream. When this happens, clots can develop and people might start to develop heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary emboli. Of course, this is only one of the many different complications that people can develop. Another example is called compartment syndrome, which can occur in the thigh. How does thigh compartment syndrome develop and what are the consequences of this serious issue?

Femur Fractures can Lead to Thigh Compartment Syndrome

When thigh compartment syndrome develops, the consequences can be deadly. Compartment syndrome describes what happens when tremendous swelling occurs around a tight compartment. In the thigh, there is a compartment that contains important arteries, nerves, and veins. This compartment is enclosed by a tight ring of the fascia. When someone suffers a traumatic injury, such as a femur fracture, this area can start to swell. This compartment gets tighter and compresses the blood vessels and nerves inside of it. This could include the femoral artery, the femoral vein, and the femoral nerve. This can cause serious symptoms, such as:

  • Pain: Pain develops from compression of the nerves inside of the compartment.
  • Paresthesias: This is the medical term used to describe the pins and needles sensation people sometimes feel.
  • Pallor: Compression of the arteries and veins stops the flow of blood, causing the leg to appear white.
  • Pulseless: This same compression on top of the blood vessels leads to the absence of the femoral pulses.
  • Paralysis: Paralysis happens from the compression of the nerves as well and is one of the end-states of compartment syndrome. The goal is to correct the compartment syndrome before this happens.

When someone has been diagnosed with thigh compartment syndrome, the treatment is a fasciotomy. The ring of fascia that is compressing the nerves and blood vessels is cut. This relieves the swelling and the buildup of pressure, leading to a relief of the individual’s symptoms. If this is not performed quickly, it could cause irreversible damage. This could cause someone to lose their leg.

Help from a Trained Legal Professional

When an individual suffers thigh compartment syndrome, this can lead to tremendous pain that could wind up in an amputation if not addressed quickly. This can lead to life-long complications that could require regular visits to a medical specialist and might even make it hard to return to work. In this scenario, meeting with a trained personal injury lawyer is a good idea. It is important to have a legal professional take a look at the accident and ensure that none of the important details have been missed. You and your family could be entitled to financial compensation.

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Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Thigh compartment syndrome can lead to an amputation. If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I would be happy to offer friendly, free advice.

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Image Attribution: The photo at the beginning of this article was found first on Unsplash. The photo has been printed here with permission / Thigh Compartment Syndrome.

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