Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic condition characterized by debilitating, unrelenting pain, usually to an arm, hand, leg or foot. CRPS can develop after a traumatic injury; it can also occur after surgery, stroke or a heart attack. CRPS is one of the more difficult to diagnose chronic pain conditions, because the intense pain sufferers feel is much greater than would be expected from the injury that brought it on.
If you have been diagnosed with CRPS, and you believe your condition was caused by an injury that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
CRPS affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States per year. The cause of this condition is not yet fully understood, but may involve excessive inflammation or dysfunction of the nervous system. There are two main types of CRPS with similar signs and symptoms, but different triggering events:
CRPS typically occurs after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg that affects the central nervous system. Injuries such as a fracture, amputation, a crush injury or even a severe sprain may bring on CRPS. Other traumas such as surgery, heart attacks, or even infections have been known to lead to CRPS.
People with CRPS/RSD may experience:
While symptoms may vary, pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) are typically present first. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started at this point.
In some people, CRPS symptoms simply stop after a short time. In others, symptoms may persist for months or years, or may spread from the initial source to another place in the body, such as the other limb.
If CRPS is not treated soon enough, the disease may progress to more disabling and irreversible symptoms, including:
If you are experiencing persistent, excruciating pain in a leg, arm, hand or foot, and touching or moving that body part is unbearable, talk to your physician right away to receive a diagnosis and early treatment plan.
While no single test can conclusively identify CRPS, your doctor may want to perform the following tests:
Whether or not you are able to receive compensation for CRPS will depend on the event that instigated your condition. For instance:
If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, you may want to talk to a law firm with qualified CRPS attorneys like the personal injury attorneys at TorkLaw. Your lawyer will want a specialist to review your medical records before proceeding to ensure that a lawsuit makes sense. For instance, CRPS after surgery is not necessarily a sign of malpractice by itself. However, if you do have a case, your compensation could be significant, and include damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
CRPS is a chronic condition, and is not life-threatening, but it can last for years or even be lifelong. While CRPS can’t be cured, and it does negatively impact the quality of life, there are treatments that can help.
Scientists supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are studying the body’s immune system reaction to nerve cells following injury. The goal is to identify objectives for new drug therapies that could limit the symptoms to the parts of the body affected by CRPS, and improve recovery.
Living with chronic pain is hard. Because of the nature of CRPS, those who have this condition are often doubly burdened because friends, family, and sometimes even their medical providers don’t understand or even believe how much pain they are in. It’s important to learn as much as you can, and to share information about CRPS from reliable sources to help the people in your life understand what you’re going through.
Seeing a therapist or psychologist may help you learn additional coping skills like meditation or relaxation. A therapist can also help you to express your feelings and feel heard. Joining a support group is another option. This website can help with information and referrals: https://rsds.org/
If your CRPS was brought on by an injury that was caused by another person or entity, such as a car accident, a defective product or dangerous condition, or by medical malpractice, such as an unnecessary surgery, you may be entitled to significant compensation. If that is the case, you need a qualified CRPS attorney.
Contact the personal injury attorneys at TorkLaw and we will investigate your situation fully. If you have a valid case, we will obtain the highest amount of compensation available. Call us today: 888.845.9696.