What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome is known as a rare condition, although it affects hundreds of thousands in the US, and possibly more. It is a chronic illness, and may last months or years. If you have CRPS, your quality of life may have been significantly affected, and the condition may worsen over time. CRPS is often thought to be caused as the result of another event, usually an injury or trauma; for example, if you were hurt in a car accident, CRPS may be triggered and affect you even worse than the initial injury.

A variety of painful, uncomfortable symptoms signal the onset of this condition, often beginning with burning—or even a sense of coldness or aching in the limbs or skin. One limb may be affected, and eventually both if CRPS continues to worsen. Skin may also change in color as well as texture. Swelling, stiffness, loss of mobility, and even atrophy may occur.

Researchers published a paper recently, updating what is known about CRPS. Surgery seems to be a precursor to CRPS:

“The incidence of CRPS following shoulder, distal radius, carpal tunnel and Dupuytren’s contracture surgery is estimated to be between 0.9 and 11%, 22 to 39%, 2 to 5% and 4.5 to 40%,” state the researchers.

Fractures are known to be one of the most common causes of CRPS, and this correlates with injuries common to accidents such as car crashes.

“In this study, the overall incidence of CRPS type I was 7.0, with 15.2% of cases occurring after ankle fracture, 2.9% following fifth metatarsal fracture and 7.9% after wrist fracture,” state the researchers.

Traumas may also cause inflammation, as well as nerve or tissue damage that cause CRPS in certain patients. The recent research also shows that immune deficiencies, genetic factors, and psychological stress may play a part in causing CRPS as well.

Diagnosis of CRPS usually consists of assessing the symptoms and ruling out other conditions with scans, X-Rays, and MRIs. Currently, there is not a specific test for CRPS—or a cure. Treatments vary, and are most effective if begun at the initial outset. Your doctor may recommend steroids, antidepressants, over-the-counter pain relievers, ketamine, or other medications. Physical therapy may be recommended too.

If you are suffering from this condition after an injury caused by the negligence of others and are seeking a skilled CRPS lawyer, contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.