Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is also known by the name reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This is a chronic pain condition where a high volume of nerve signals is sent to a single site in the body, most commonly arms and legs. It is estimated that around 200,000 adults in the United States develop this incurable condition every year.
There are many causes that are believed to contribute to the development of CRPS. Some of these might be related to the action or inaction of someone else that created life-altering consequences for the affected person. Not only is CRPS disabling, it also isn’t well understood. We believe patients deserve an advocate to fight on their behalf when another person’s negligence contributed to this condition or made it worse.
Let’s review what causes CRPS, how this condition can be treated, and when an affected individual could consider hiring an attorney to represent their case.
What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?
In 90% of cases, CRPS occurs without any obvious nerve injury or lesions. This is CRPS Type 1, also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy. When nerve damage is present, this is known as CRPS type 2, or causalgia.
Though nerve damage may not be detectable, CRPS often develops days, weeks, or even years after the following types of traumatic injuries. These are some of the most common causes, but by no means the only types of incidents that can lead to CRPS:
- Slip and Fall
- Car or Truck Accident
- Unnecessary Surgery
- IV Infiltration
- Workplace Injuries
When these injuries result from other people’s negligence, you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation to help cover the costs associated with permanent life-altering pain of CRPS, no matter how much time has passed since the initial incident.
What are Symptoms and Treatments of CRPS?
The primary symptom of CRPS is pain, which may be caused by physical contact, such as someone touching the affected area, or may also happen at random. The pain is far greater than would normally be expected and lasts longer than normal pain. Other symptoms include:
- A constant feeling of burning pain
- Change in skin color or texture
- Change in skin temperature
- Stiffness and/or swelling in the affected area
- Changes in nail or hair growth
- Deterioration in motor function
Diagnosing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is more than anything a process of elimination. There is no test for this condition, so doctors and specialists will perform the diagnostics necessary to make sure other conditions are not the cause of these symptoms. This can be a lengthy process in which a patient and their family will need to strongly self-advocate for treatment.
Common treatments for CRPS can include physical therapy, orthopedic treatment, surgery, nerve blocks, or pain management treatments like medicine for neuropathy or pain pumps. Additionally, psychological treatment for accompanying issues like depression or anxiety may also be necessary.
When Should I Hire a CRPS Attorney?
When you or a loved one develop CRPS, working with a doctor is an obvious step. But you likely also wonder why and how this injury occurred. The contributing incident may be years in the past. But in the present, it leads to loss of work, inability to exercise or spend time with family, and a compromise in daily routines. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney lends individuals affected by CRPS the process and insight to explore the facts of the case and determine if negligence contributed to the development of this condition. An attorney can help review details of past incidents like a slip and fall, car accident, surgery, or workplace injury to see if negligence contributed to CRPS.
Learning what past experiences and actions or inactions by others contributed to the condition can be a valuable part of planning what comes next. CRPS is an incurable lifelong condition that can be accompanied by medical expenses as well as lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Personal injury attorneys give CRPS victims and their families confidence that every avenue to make the situation right has been explored.
Work with the Experienced Lafayette Injury Attorneys at Bennett, Boehning, and Clary
Whether you know negligence contributed to your complex regional pain, or just have questions and need answers, the attorneys of Bennett, Boehning, and Clary have the experience and compassion to support you through this time. We believe that every injury case is unique and can be decided on tiny details. Reach out to us at 765-742-9066 if you need an advocate and someone to fight for you.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.