A trauma patient with fracture and soft tissue injury should be monitored after surgery for evidence indicating vascular or neural injury.


Signs of possible post-operative complication:

(1) persistent or increasing pain in the extremity

(2) redness, heat and/or swelling

(3) paresthesias in the limb

(4) restricted motion in the digits (toes or fingers)

(5) temperature difference in the extremity

(6) discoloration (pale white or livid) of the extremity


A patient with one or more of these findings should be evaluated promptly. Delay in treatment can result in serious injury and possibly loss of a limb.


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