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Military Claims

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a relatively common injury in the military because of the intense exercise regimes undertaken by Service personnel. It can happen after prolonged physical exercise, or because of fractures ( for example, following an accident). Our military claims solicitors can help you to bring a compensation claim for Compartment Syndrome.

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What is compartment syndrome?

Compartment Syndrome can happen when there is an increase in pressure within muscle compartments. If the pressure becomes too great, these compartments can burst, causing long-lasting damage, disability and, in serious cases, death. The muscles most commonly affected include those in the legs, feet, forearms and hands.

What are the types of compartment syndrome?

Acute compartment syndrome

This is normally caused by a sudden trauma or severe injury but it can also happen following prolonged and repetitive exercise. It normally develops after a broken bone or a crushing injury. It is an urgent matter, requiring immediate medical attention to avoid permanent muscle damage. Some of the symptoms to be aware of include intense pain, tenderness in the affected area, muscle tightness and a tingling or burning sensation.

Chronic compartment syndrome

This is also known as exertional compartment syndrome, and develops much more slowly. It normally develops during or immediately after repetitive exercise. Symptoms include cramping during exercise, swelling or bulging of the affected muscles and a tingling sensation. The affected area may also turn pale or cold.

How is compartment syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosing compartment syndrome can be tricky because the symptoms are sometimes associated with other exercise-related injuries, such as shin splints. Having said this, Medical Officers and physiotherapists are normally trained to recognise compartment syndrome and should be familiar with the potential risks.

Importantly, any delay in diagnosing and treating compartment syndrome can have a lasting impact.

How is compartment syndrome treated?

The treatment for compartment syndrome depends on the type of compartment syndrome you have. Acute compartment syndrome is treated with a surgical procedure called a fasciotomy. This involves an incision being made to cut open the skin around the surrounding muscles to release pressure in the muscle compartment. The wound is usually closed a few days later. A skin graft may be carried out to cover the wound.

For chronic compartment syndrome you should normally be prescribed rest and/or be switched to less strenuous duties. Physiotherapy and orthotics may be of assistance to manage symptoms. Surgery may be considered if your symptoms don’t improve.

How can Bolt Burdon Kemp help?

You may have a military compensation claim if your compartment syndrome has been missed or poorly managed. Alternatively, you may also have a military compensation claim if there has been any delay in your fasciotomy, or if that procedure is carried out incorrectly. Most importantly in compartment syndrome cases, any delay may seriously impact on your health and recovery, and this may also impact negatively on your career or result in a medical discharge.

Our specialist military claims solicitors will investigate your case and collect evidence to prove how your injury happened and the losses that you have suffered. Where we can establish good prospects of success, we will pursue a claim for you to be fully compensated. We will arrange for you to be assessed by experts who will report on your medical condition and the treatment you will need. We will also instruct other experts to advise on your financial losses, the impact on your life and your career.

In addition to a civil compensation claim, you may be entitled to bring a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), and we can help you with this too.

What are the time limits for bringing a military compensation claim?

Time limits will apply to civil claims and these are normally three years from the date you were injured. There may be ways to extend time to bring a claim in special circumstances. You should discuss this with a solicitor as soon as possible so that you can explore your options.

If you think you have a claim then please contact us. We work on a no-win, no-fee basisYou can discuss your case with one of our specialist solicitors in complete confidence and without charge.

Meet our Military Claims Team

Gaggan Mawi
Partner – Part of the Military Claims Team
Hannah Swarbrick
Senior Associate – Part of the Military Claims Team
Marie-Joelle Theanne
Solicitor – Part of the Military Claims Team
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