Crush Injuries of the Foot
With significant trauma or crushing of the foot, severe long-term injuries to both the bones and soft tissues may occur. The soft tissues, muscles and tendons, nerves, and arteries of the foot are all encompassed by a soft-tissue lining called fascia (a thin, stretchy layer of tissue similar to a stretched balloon). This fascia can only expand a certain amount, similar to a balloon. When a muscle undergoes trauma, it can swell to the point of causing significant compression against this outer fascia lining, causing severe potential compression of the nerves and arteries in this area. The resultant artery damage can cause loss of blood flow to the foot, and the nerve damage can cause severe long-term pain and limitations. In addition, the muscles may lose their blood flow, causing further abnormalities.
Evaluation of Crush Injuries of the Foot
When such injuries occur, evaluation by a specialist who is able to recognize these disorders and appropriately measure for these elevated pressures with a special device, called a compartment pressure monitor, is critical to promptly recognize and initiate treatment. If recognized in a timely fashion, this surrounding fascia layer can be released surgically to allow the muscles to expand without risk of further damage to the nerves and arteries. This area can then be closed later once the swelling has resolved by using special skin-transferring techniques. This treatment can help preserve blood flow and prevent long-term nerve-related pain as well as other secondary foot deformities related to the dead muscle that may develop without intervention.
Treatment of Foot Trauma in Chicagoland Area
Dr. Vora has published extensively on the contribution of a crush injury to the foot as well as the effect outcomes and potential minor and major complications that may occur after such an injury. These injuries require prompt recognition of the disorder and urgent treatment to maximize outcome and to prevent long-term disabilities.