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Do you know the ins and outs of compartment syndrome?

When a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, he or she could suffer from a variety of injuries. While some are well known and well documented, such as broken bones, there are others, such as compartment syndrome, that do not receive nearly as much attention.

In short, compartment syndrome is the result of increased pressure in a muscle compartment. When this happens, the end result can be nerve and muscle damage, along with issues regarding blood flow.

Any swelling within a muscle compartment can cause increased pressure on the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. If the pressure is high enough, blood flow is blocked and permanent injury can be the end result.

There are many symptoms associated with compartment syndrome, including severe pain that does not go away despite treatment, including pain medication. Other symptoms can include:

-- Weakness

-- Severe pain that continues to worsen

-- Pale skin

-- Tingling or numbness

-- Decreased sensation

If you have any reason to believe you have suffered compartment syndrome, you cannot delay in receiving medical treatment. Surgery is usually required. Avoiding this type of treatment can cause permanent damage.

In a motor vehicle accident, if a person is injured he or she may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of every pain. There is always the chance that some pain is caused by compartment syndrome, which is an injury that is often overlooked.

If a person suffers this injury, he or she needs immediate treatment. Neglecting to receive care could result in long term trouble, including the inability to use a particular limb.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Compartment syndrome," accessed July 08, 2015

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