A crush injury is not something anyone would ever expect or hope to experience, but accidents do happen.  Seeking treatment quickly is important to ensure the quickest and most effective healing.

What is a Crush Injury?

As the name implies, a crush injury occurs when force or pressure on a body part causes trauma to the soft tissue, muscle, and possibly nerves. A crush injury often happens when a limb, such as a hand or foot, is squeezed between two heavy objects, often with heavy machinery.  Other types of crush injuries include vehicle accidents, animal bites, and gunshots.

How Serious Can It Be?

A crush injury can cause a wide range of damage depending on its severity. Damage may include bleeding, bruising, fracture, laceration, nerve injury, and most seriously, compartment syndrome. This syndrome occurs when swelling from damage cuts off circulation and activity in a nerve. Surgical treatment is needed immediately in this situation to release the pressure.  

A crush injury should be evaluated immediately to limit the possibility of serious complications and to assess the damage that may need to be repaired.  If the wound is bleeding, pressure should be applied to the wound directly. The affected area should be covered with a wet cloth or bandage before being elevated above the heart.  If a neck or spinal injury is suspected, keeping the patient still is important as well.  Inital emergency care is essential in these cases.

How Long Does It Take For A Crush Injury to Heal?

The effective healing of crush injuries is dependent on the severity of your wound.  To help improve healing, you may have your wound evaluated and treated by a wound care professional.  A wound care specialist will monitor the wound for a possible infection.  The specialist will also help keep a proper balance between “wet” and “dry” so your wound can heal with fewer complications.  Following up with the specialist will help ensure positive progress in healing. 

How Can HBOT Help A Crush Injury Heal?

Some crush injuries can also benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy (also known as HBOT).  HBOT is a method of treatment in which the patient relaxes in an acrylic chamber while breathing 100% oxygen at a higher concentration.  Oxygen goes to the areas of injury at a higher amount which carries more red blood cells needed for healing. This speeds up the healing process of the wound as well as reduces inflammation and pain.

Seeking Care for a Crush Injury

Overall, crush injuries can be minor or severe enough to require surgery to treat.  Professional evaluation of the injury, even if it seems minor, can help ensure there is little or no lasting damage.  Wound care specialists help create better outcomes for patients by limiting permanent scarring or other damage.  

If you have a crush injury that is not healing as you expect, please contact us at the location nearest you.  Our wound care specialists can help you prevent a longer, more difficult road to recovery.

R3 Wound Care and Hyperbarics has locations in the metropolitan areas of Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth (Arlington, Argyle, Keller, Castle Hills, Flower Mound, and Frisco), Houston (Kingwood, Pearland), and San Antonio (Stone Oak).