Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome can be as a result of an injury received in an accident or it can result from a medical procedure. It is a painful condition that occurs when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. If acute, it is a medical emergency requiring a fasciotomy in which the surrounding skin and fascia (connective tissue) are cut open to relieve the pressure.

Compartment syndrome most frequently occurs in the lower legs. The underlying cause of most cases of acute compartment syndrome (ACS) is a fracture, most commonly fractures of the tibia, radius and forearm. The next most common cause of ACS is soft tissue injury, but it also occurs as a result of tight plaster casts, burns and prolonged external compression in unconscious patients.

ACS is quite challenging to diagnose. However, if not treated promptly, it can have significant consequences. Patients suffer nerve injuries and where a fasciotomy is required, it can result in scarring, requirements for grafting and further treatment.

Claims for compensation will include claims for further treatment and care and pain, suffering and loss of amenity.