Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body's tissues. After a car accident, edema can occur for several reasons. These include:
- Traumatic injury: The most direct cause of swelling after a collision is a physical injury. Impact from a collision can result in bruises, sprains, or fractures. These can lead to localized swelling.
- Venous obstruction: A car accident may cause a blood clot or thrombosis, particularly in the legs. This is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT can block venous return, causing swelling in the affected limb.
- Lymphatic system damage: The lymphatic system helps drain excess fluid from tissues. If a car accident damages lymph nodes or vessels, it can disrupt normal drainage and lead to swelling.
- Immobility: Being immobile for a prolonged period during recovery can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs, leading to edema.
If you have pre-existing conditions such as congestive heart failure or liver disease, you’re more prone to arm and leg swelling after a car accident.