Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition unknown to many. Said to be affecting under five percent of those with nerve damage in the US (although the numbers may be considerably higher due to underreporting), CRPS usually comes as a surprise to those afflicted with this rare disorder as it may affect an area that was thought to have already healed. Physical trauma from a car accident is a common reason for triggering CRPS, even if the original injury was fairly mild.
A wrist or ankle sprain or even a break may have occurred and healed easily, only to have CRPS develop afterward with a pain that is far more intense than the original health problem. The condition can even sometimes be triggered by a cast being put on to heal a broken limb or a procedure as minor as having a shot administered. CRPS usually becomes apparent with intense discomfort, and symptoms such as burning, throbbing, and extreme sensitivity are common; in fact, affected limbs can be so sensitive that just being outside in a minor breeze can be painful—as well as enduring just the slightest touch. The skin may also become discolored, glossy in texture, and temperature of the area in question may vary between hot, cold, and clammy.
Patients with CRPS sometimes become so fearful of the associated pain that they are reluctant to move—exacerbating an already weakened state and causing further atrophy to muscles. Along with that, the other limb may become affected. Swelling, stiffness of joints, and muscle spasms may also occur. Once medical professionals are able to make a diagnosis (generally by ruling out other illnesses), they may recommend one or more of the following medications or treatment:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen
- Prescription pain relievers such as opioids
- Corticosteroids like prednisone to eliminate inflammation
- Nerve blockers to stop pain
Physical therapy is often necessary, along with other CRPS treatments like heat, topical anesthetics (like Lidocaine), nerve or spinal cord therapy—and sometimes even options like relaxation therapy or biofeedback. CRPS sufferers may become depressed too as pain causes restriction and numerous (not always pleasant, unfortunately) adjustments to their way of life. Antidepressants may be prescribed along with ongoing therapy via a licensed medical health professional.
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.