Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare and unique condition that currently causes discomfort and sometimes intense and chronic suffering for around 200,000 people in the US today. While its causes are not always known, CRPS is divided into two different types. Type 1 may occur with no warning or known damage to the nerves, but it often follows an illness or trauma. You may have been in a car accident or a motorcycle crash, experienced an unfortunate amputation, or even something as simple as having a shot administered. The impact to the body may have healed and been forgotten, only to have CRPS begin causing symptoms in the area that was affected—usually one limb (although it can spread to both). Type 2 is usually caused by something that directly affects the nerves and is realized at the time; for instance, Type 2 CRPS may occur after a surgical procedure with complications.
The condition is usually a surprise to the patient, and often medical professionals too who may be challenged to make a diagnosis until all other more conventional diseases can be ruled out with specific tests. There is no specific testing for CRPS, but once it has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as early as possible for the best overall, long-term outcome. The symptoms are unusual too, and often present themselves around the skin, causing discoloration, tenderness, burning and swelling, and more; in fact, the pain can be so severe that just the lightest touch or even a faint breeze can be intensely uncomfortable.
As the name would suggest, CRPS is centered around pain, and sometimes it is so bad that the patient may become almost unwilling to use the limb or limbs that are affected. Joints may be stiff and swollen, and muscles may spasm, along with becoming weaker over time—even to the point of atrophy. Dystonia is often associated with CRPS too, with fingers or toes becoming fixed in an abnormal or twisted position. Pain may be extreme, and continual, in some cases. Treatments vary from over-the-counter medications to opioids to nerve blockers, accompanied by physical therapy at some point. Anti-convulsant medication may be prescribed, as well as antidepressants and therapy.
Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. 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.