Understanding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Imagine that you are leaving your office late at night after spending several hours finishing up a project. Suddenly, as you are crossing the company parking lot, a coworker distracted by their cell phone hits you with their vehicle. After a trip to the hospital, you are discharged with bruises, abrasions, and a sore knee.

Although the emergency room staff assures you that all you need is rest and plenty of ice, the pain in your knee refuses to go away. You return to the hospital, where more in-depth testing reveals that the knee is actually fractured.

When the condition fails to improve despite various interventions and treatments, and you even start experiencing soft tissue injuries to other parts of your body, your doctor runs additional tests that result in a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Explained

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a debilitating disorder of the autonomic nervous system. It causes you to experience pain that is completely out of reasonable proportion to the original injury or trauma. In extreme cases, or if left untreated, it can cause muscle atrophy and total immobility of the afflicted area.

There are two recognized forms of CRPS:

  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD): This is the most common type, and generally manifests after injury to a specific area of the body. Such an injury does not involve nerve damage.
  • Causalgia: More rare than RSD, causalgia develops after a nerve is injured. The symptoms, which include severe and burning pain in a limb, are usually more difficult to manage.

What Causes It?

CRPS is caused when your body suffers a trauma that damages your nervous system. This can happen after a car, truck or bicycle accident; slip or trip and fall; and even medical malpractice. Examples of such trauma include but are not limited to:

  • Soft tissue injuries such as cuts, bruises, and burns
  • Sprains
  • Strained muscles
  • Fractures
  • Medical procedures such as surgery

Unfortunately, there is no cure for complex regional pain syndrome, so the primary focus of treatment is relieving symptoms. This typically includes use of corticosteroids, narcotics, and topical analgesics. Additional treatment methods include physical therapy and nerve-blocking procedures that stop the brain from receiving the injured area’s pain signals.

CRPS Can Alter Your Life

The pain and other physical symptoms associated with CRPS can change your entire life. When the symptoms are at their worst, you are practically immobilized by the pain. Even at the best of times, you will have difficulty maintaining employment, which puts a serious economic burden on you and your family. The cost of your medical care takes another toll on your finances, leaving you with an mentally and emotionally overwhelming situation.

At the Sharp Firm, we have years of experience in representing Texas clients injured in motor vehicle collisions, truck and bicycle accidents, acts of medical malpractice, and other conditions linked to complex regional pain syndrome. These insights enable us to establish strong causal links between your Texas accident and CRPS so that you can receive fair compensation for your losses and suffering. To learn more about what we can do for you, call us today.