What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.
Signs and symptoms of CRPS include:
- Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
- Sensitivity to touch or cold
- Swelling of the painful area
- Changes in skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
- Changes in skin color, ranging from white and blotchy to red or blue
- Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
- Changes in hair and nail growth
- Joint stiffness, swelling and damage
- Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and loss (atrophy)
- Decreased ability to move the affected body part
How is CRPS diagnosed?
The Mayo clinic explains that diagnosis of CRPS is based on a physical exam and your medical history. There’s no single test that can definitively diagnose CRPS, but the following procedures may provide important clues:
- Bone scan. This procedure might help find bone changes. A radioactive substance injected into one of your veins allows your bones to be seen with a special camera.
- Sweat production tests. Some tests can measure the amount of sweat on both limbs. Uneven results may indicate CRPS.
- X-rays. Loss of minerals from your bones may show up on an X-ray in later stages of the disease.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Images captured with an MRI test may show tissue changes that rule out other conditions.
How is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome different from Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome?
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD) is another term used for the same disorder. The term reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome is actually not a name that doctors use anymore. It’s an older term used to describe one form of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). RSD is sometimes called Type I CRPS, and it’s caused by injury to tissue with no related nerve damage.
CRPS and RSD conditions can be very scary for an injured worker
If you’ve been injured and are experiencing symptoms that resemble CRPS or RSD or have received a diagnosis of CRPS or RSD from a doctor, you may be confused about how to proceed. It can be difficult to navigate the medical process of healing, much less figuring out how to be compensated while you miss work as a result of your condition. You will benefit from consulting with an experienced work injury attorney who understands CRPS and RSD and has handled many cases, helping clients get the settlements they deserve.
Mounting medical expenses and confusion from CRPS and RSD
The medical expenses that come along with treating CRPS or RSD can, and often times do, go through the roof. Identifying the underlying cause of these conditions is difficult, and this can be confusing and frustrating for injured workers. If you have been diagnosed with or believe you may have RSD or CRPS, consult first with your doctor, but also contact an experienced work injury attorney to help you understand how to proceed in being justly compensated.
Hire an experienced worker’s comp attorney to help you with your CRPS-related claim
If you have any questions about a CRPS diagnosis and how to be compensated for your medical expenses and lost wages, please contact one of the attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin. With offices in Evansville, Indianapolis, Lafayette, New Harmony, and Jeffersonville (Louisville, KY), we are well-equipped to handle your case.