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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a debilitating and relatively misunderstood chronic pain condition that can have a harrowing impact on your day-to-day life. Not only is CRPS incredibly painful, it can also result in a lifetime of expensive medical care.

If you have been injured due to someone’s negligence and the injury resulted in CRPS, you shouldn’t have to deal with it on your own. The complex regional pain syndrome lawyers at the Law Offices of Jennie Levin are passionate about helping those suffering from this mysterious condition.

Call us at (323) 951-1188 to schedule a free consultation today.

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, CRPS is a pain condition that lasts longer than six months. It typically affects one limb and manifests on the skin, or in the muscles, joints, and bones. The most common trait of CRPS is chronic pain. The condition is usually brought on after one suffers an injury. Physicians believe that CRPS is caused by damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems.

There are two types of CRPS. The first type is caused by an illness or minor injury (such as a sprained wrist), where there is no medically confirmed nerve damage — this used to be known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy. This is the most common type of complex regional pain syndrome.

The second type of CRPS is caused by a more serious injury (such as a bone break), where there is evident nerve damage done. This used to be known as causalgia.

What are the Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and How is it Diagnosed?

Before consulting an attorney, speak to your medical professional in order to get an assessment of your condition. CRPS is a pretty difficult condition to diagnose, because there are no tests to confirm it. It’s a condition that is diagnosed by excluding other conditions.

In order to diagnose CRPS these four factors must be met:

  • Chronic pain that is not proportionate to the initial injury
  • At least one symptom in three of these four categories: motor/trophic, sensory, vasomotor, sudomotor/edema
  • Displays at least one sign in two or more of these categories at the time of evaluation: motor/trophic, sensory, vasomotor, sudomotor/edema
  • Has no other medical explanation for the symptoms

A doctor can run tests to rule out other conditions such as Lyme disease and arthritis. A doctor can also assess your symptoms and determine your likelihood of having CRPS based on your medical history and symptoms. Sometimes, a doctor can request magnetic resonance imaging or triple-phase bone scans in order to confirm your diagnosis. The bottom line is: A careful medical examination is necessary in order to determine CRPS.

The most common symptom of CRPS is pain that is out of proportion to the injury and which lasts for a prolonged period of time.

Here are other common symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome:

  • A burning sensation, or feeling like someone is squeezing the affected area
  • Stiffness in the affected joint
  • Changes in skin texture and color
  • Abnormal sweating in the area or surrounding areas
  • Swelling of the affected limb
  • Hypersensitivity to touch

CRPS can also lead to insomnia, depression, and irritability. If you think you might be suffering from CRPS, see a doctor right away — it can spread to other parts of your body.

What are the Causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome is still a somewhat misunderstood condition. But in most cases it is the result of an injury such as a sprain, fracture, surgery, or soft tissue injury. Although sometimes the injury can happen due to nobody’s fault, many times it can be the result of someone else’s negligence. In these cases, you should give our CRPS attorney a call.

These are the common accidents that can cause CRPS:

  • Car accident: If you are involved in a car accident, the other party can be held liable for your CRPS if they negligently caused the collision and thus triggered the injury that brought on your CRPS.
  • Medical malpractice: If your injury happened when you were at the hospital and is a direct result of a negligent physician, they may be held liable.
  • Work-related injury: If your injury happened due to a work related accident, your employer may be held liable.

How is CRPS Treated?

Although there is no cure, CRPS can be treated with physical therapy pain management and other treatments. Many times, doctors recommend rehabilitation and physical therapy in order to improve blood flow and the affected limb’s flexibility and strength. Currently there is no drug that is specifically meant to treat CRPS, but some medications can help. In certain instances, doctors agree to perform a surgical sympathectomy, which destroys a part of the sympathetic nerve trunk. Other treatments include spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal drug pumps.

CRPS often requires psychotherapy as well, as people who experience chronic pain are prone to anxiety, depression, and other conditions that make it difficult to cope with the pain.

Contact the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Attorneys at the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, P.C.

If you or someone you love have been injured due to someone else’s negligence and developed complex regional pain syndrome as a result, you have the right to seek compensation. CRPS is a very difficult and taxing condition that takes an emotional, physical, and financial toll on your life. It can require a lifetime of expensive medical care and treatments, none of which are guaranteed to work. It can be an immense burden on your finances, and prevent you from being able to hold employment for any amount of time.

While money is not going to take back your pain, it can relieve your financial stress and ensure that you’re able to afford any treatment you need. The Los Angeles complex regional pain syndrome lawyers at the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, P.C. have years of experience getting our clients the maximum compensation.

If you have been diagnosed with CRPS, call us at (323) 951-1188 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.