CRPS: The Silent Injury Exposed
There are many types of injuries and conditions that can afflict us, and nerve damage can be among the worst. There may be no way to find out if nerve damage is caused by something major or minor, and in some cases, you simply have to go through many tests to determine what the issue is at all.
A condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has been afflicting individuals for some time, but there is finally ample information available to identify the trouble. Now, more and more individuals are able to have the conditions identified and pursue treatment.
Learning About CRPS
CRPS is a pain condition that lasts longer than six months and can affect numerous parts of the body. It is initially brought on by some sort of trauma or injury and is often localized to one limb, but over time, it has the potential to spread to the rest of the anatomy.
The condition can be classified into two types – CRPS-I and CRPS-II. The presence of a nerve injury is what differentiates them; if there was a distinct and confirmed injury to a nerve, the condition is of the former type. No known nerve damage asserts the condition into the first type. Essentially, the damage is thought to be connected to the nervous system as opposed to a specific nerve near the area.
CRPS is often categorized as having a highly disproportionate level of pain to the original injury. It is difficult to imagine such intense pain coming about from a simple fractured ankle during football or a needle stick in a hospital during a blood drive. Often, the injury comes on silently and quietly, with next to no creeping symptoms. The symptoms are generally fast and may include many varieties.
A few of the most common symptoms include the following:
• Constant burning or throbbing in the affected area
• Increased sensitivity to sensory input, such as touch, cold, heat, and sound
• Swelling in the area
• Skin temperature changes from cold to warm
• Skin color changes from blotched and red to white, or even to blue or pale pink
• Stiffness in the joints
• Muscle damage, tremors, spasms, atrophy, and more
• Loss of motion of affected area
Despite this list of symptoms, there is still no known cause for CRPs, nor is there a surefire way to determine it. Rather, your doctors will conduct a series of tests to see if you exhibit clear signs of the condition. Some of the common tests for CRPS include:
• X-rays to show any loss of mineral or holes in bones
• MRI to show changes in tissue
• Bone scans to show if there are any deep damages to the bones
• Sympathetic nervous system tests and simple nerve evaluation exams
• Thermography tests, which measure skin temperature and any alterations to blood supply
Once numerous tests have been compiled, you may need to get multiple opinions before confirming a diagnosis.
This is, of course, one of the most problematic aspects about CRPS. It is not an easy-to-identify condition and it may require a lot of time and testing for the medical professionals to get it right.
CRPS After A Crash Or Fall
CRPS can be caused by a trauma of some kind that was suffered in an accident. There is usually a very clear history of damage or some kind of injury that occurred to the area. Often, the initial damage is a fracture, break, sprain, strain, burn, cut, bruise, or surgery/medical procedure.
A fall can easily cause many of the aforementioned injuries. However, the damages may not be particularly severe; there is usually some lingering pain after fractures and breaks, but tenderness and a dull ache will usually set in for a few weeks after surgery. CRPS can occur afterward with a highly disproportionate amount of time.
Car accidents and crashes can also trigger CRPS, as the incidents may result in dozens of potential injuries. It should be noted that over 90% of CRPS victims initially got the injuries in car accidents, but interestingly, the majority of individuals who suffer similar injuries do not subsequently suffer CRPS.
In rarer cases, there is no clear underlying cause to CRPS; no injury may have been reported or detected, which could indicate more deep-seated problems with the nervous system. However, there may be other problems as well, which can only be identified by certain specialists.
Which Type Of Doctors To See
It is recommended that you see a doctor who can examine you in close quarters and who can monitor your condition over a period of time. Many doctors simply see a condition for a few minutes and base their diagnoses on what you have told them about the issue. You will be given a much more accurate diagnosis if you see a physician often.
Some doctors are content to simply prescribe medication and schedule follow-up appointments. These are the exact doctors that you should avoid. Instead, you should see doctors like pain specialists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists. Many specialists will be able to help you move through the pain and will walk you through the process of controlling it, while psychologists will help treat CRPS by examining the mental aspect of the condition.
You should also look for doctors who have experience in CRPS cases. If they have a history of diagnosing and treating other individuals, they will have better frames of reference and know what best to do. Neurologists, for example, often receive CRPS cases and treat for them before diagnoses happen. This is done to help the victims deal with the pain and to potentially curtail any damage before it gets too out of hand.
Ideally, you will want to search for a doctor who can empathize with you and who truly cares about your CRPS. Doctors with poor bedside manners or who are cold and distant can make people uncertain and unsure of how to proceed; they may be timid and not disclose symptoms, or they may be intimidated and forget key details about their injuries.
Steps To Take To Ensure Your Case Is Not Ignored
The pain of CRPS can be unendurable at times, and it may be made worse if the doctors you see cannot treat you. It can be a direct change of lifestyle and may impact your daily activities and your career. As a result, you should always pursue further opinions and try to get the answers you need.
If your case is being ignored by doctors, you should search for physicians who have a history of taking on CRPS cases. They may be given raving reviews on their websites or they may have recommendations by patients. You can find these doctors by searching online and reading forums, checking your physician network through your health insurance, shopping around for referrals and specialists, and more.
You should also have as much evidence of your condition as possible. This will help you have a fuller and more complete understanding of CRPS, for one, but it will also show a clear indication of a duration of pain and failed treatments and diagnoses. You can request copies of MRIs, X-rays, scans, test results, doctor’s visits, insurance claims, and more.
It will be in your favor to collect as many sample cases that are similar to yours as you can. This will allow you to show the doctors that there may be a correlation in symptoms and a different route to take. Other victims of CRPS may have reported the same issues that you did and were faced with the same wrong or mistaken diagnoses, only to be correctly treated later.
If you still find it difficult to acquire a doctor, you may find it beneficial to search for legal help. A lawyer can look at the history of your case and determine if there were any illegal practices or if some of the parties were negligent. You may have ample evidence for a claim.
What Type Of Lawyer To Look For
If you do want to pursue legal action with the help of a lawyer, you should try to find an attorney who fits your needs. An attorney can get you medical attention through the usage of a lien, which allows doctors to take on cases and be paid from settlements that will arrive later. It will let you get the best help as quickly as possible without having to wait for adequate or total funds. Often, lawyers have access to whole networks of doctors who are available, and can find you healthcare professionals with ample experience in CRPS cases.
Too often, individuals who suffer from CRPS will look for any attorney who will take on their case. This can be hard, as many attorneys are simply in the world of law to quickly settle cases and collect paychecks. If they can get you to agree to a fast settlement from a doctor, they will be glad to get paid and move on to the next case.
Needless to say, pursuing an attorney with a history like this can be troublesome. It is in your best interest to shop around and find an attorney who cares about you and your case. You should be on the lookout for a lawyer who is empathetic and can understand the numerous problems that CRPS causes. Additionally, you should have representation by someone who will keep you updated and will always work in your best interest.
Many attorneys do not understand the nuances of CRPS and do not bother to educate themselves on the condition. If you do not find an attorney who understands CRPS, your case may be severely lacking. It is highly recommended that you find an attorney who can attest to the issues of CRPS and has spent time researching the condition. It would also be extremely beneficial if you hire a lawyer who has handled CRPS lawsuits before.
You should hire a lawyer who can bring you the maximum compensation if you intend to file a lawsuit. This can be difficult, as you may not have the most clear-cut case possible, but a lawyer who believes in you and his abilities can prove that you were owed your rightful compensation. You may be able to receive a settlement that will cover medical expenses from the past and the future, reimburse you for lost wages at your job from the past and future, replace any damaged property or provide you with items you need to purchase, cover your emotional pain and suffering, and more. You can even potentially receive punitive damages.
You should look for a lawyer who places the most importance on you and your CRPS case.
Our Mission for Our CRPS Clients
As a law firm that has been handling numerous types of lawsuits throughout the years, we believe it is our mission to protect and serve those who have been afflicted with various troubles, often at the hands of others. One of our areas of practice is with individuals who suffer from CRPS, and we know that there is a lot nuance in such cases – as such, we dedicate our time to making sure that we serve our clients with accuracy, empathy, and worthwhile negotiation.
Because CRPS can be acquired after damage from an accident, we know that there may an opportunity for you to have all subsequent damages covered by the responsible party. We do not believe that victims of CRPS and other accidents should be forced to pay off their own medical expenses and other damages if they were hurt because of another party’s negligent action. We have spent years fighting for victims of CRPS and our goal is to make sure that individuals are given the fairest compensation they deserve and that they receive all the necessary medical treatment they need.
Our firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, puts our clients first. We offer free legal consultations, free second opinions, and a zero fee guarantee on all cases. You do not have to pay for any legal advice or reconsideration for your case, and if you hire us, we will only have our expenses paid if we win, with the funds coming out of the settlement we bring you from the responsible entity. If we lose a case, we do not get paid at all, and our clients do not owe us any money for our services.
CRPS is a difficult condition to live and deal with, but with the right medical and legal assistance on your side, you can conquer it.
(Written by Farid N. Yaghoubtil )
3460 Wilshire Blvd #950,
Los Angeles, CA 90010