When is a Fasciotomy Needed After a Car Accident?
The body’s muscles, blood vessels, and nerves are separated into different compartments. These compartments are kept in the proper location by thin, strong tissue called fascia. In a car accident, these various compartments can be damaged. Some of the injuries that could place these compartments at risk include:
- A broken hand such as a fractured scaphoid
- Severe femur fractures
- Broken wrists such as fractures of the radius or ulna
- Tibia, fibula, and ankle injuries
In some situations, the fascia that separates these compartments might need to be cut. This surgical procedure is called a fasciotomy.
An Overview of Compartment Syndrome
The main reason why a fasciotomy would be needed after an auto accident is to avoid Compartment Syndrome. After an injury, the body responds by sending cells and fluid to the area to start the healing process. As a result, injured body parts swell. Think about someone who bumps his or her head and develops a lump. This is part of the healing process. Unfortunately, if this swelling happens in a closed space that contained fascia, it can lead to Compartment Syndrome. Compartment Syndrome could lead to amputation if not addressed quickly. Some of the signs of Compartment Syndrome include:
- Numbness and tingling of the extremity
- A cold and clammy feeling in the injured body part
- The inability to feel pulses below the injury site
- Difficulty moving the extremity
- The loss of color of the extremity
These are signs that the blood flow and nerve supply to the injured location has been squeezed shut and cut off. To correct this, an emergency fasciotomy is needed.
Watch YouTube Video: Compartment Syndrome. This video provides an overview of Compartment Syndrome, its symptoms, causes, and treatments.
How a Fasciotomy is Performed
A fasciotomy is performed by a trained surgeon. First, the individual is taken to the operating room and put to sleep. The surgeon will review the location of the injury, the health of the tissue, and the original injury. Then, one or two small incisions are made in the skin. This will reveal the fascia. Afterward, the surgeon will make a couple of tiny cuts in the fascia to relieve the pressure. Once the compartment has been released, the blood flow through the vessels is measured to ensure that it has been restored. In some cases, a skin graft is needed to close the wound. The healing process after a fasciotomy is usually pretty quickly; however, it depends on the overall health of the individual.
Contacting a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney
Emergency surgery is a frightening process. When it is required for an emergency such as Compartment Syndrome, it is understandable for families to have questions. For help during this difficult time, families should meet with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. Some of the assistance that an injury attorney can share include:
- Helping families make objective decisions during an emotionally challenging time.
- Pursuing damages that are related to the injury, its complications, and any emotional suffering.
- Moving a case to trial when needed.
No family should feel obligated to face this tough situation alone. Meet with a Sacramento car accident lawyer to discuss the options. You and your family could be owed a large financial award.
Sacramento Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. A fasciotomy is frequently an emergency surgical procedure that can treat Compartment Syndrome resulting from an auto accident. If your loved one has required a fasciotomy after a serious motor vehicle accident, please call me today at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly legal advice.
My visitors are always welcome to view our verdicts or settlements.
Photo by DF Bailey on Pixabay
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