California Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Lawyer
The Relentless Pursuit of Justice
One of the greatest chronic pains a person can experience, according to the McGill Pain Index, is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Ranking above childbirth and amputation, CRPS is an uncommon source of chronic pain, which usually affects the limbs. There have been two identified types of CRPS: Type I – reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RDS) and Type II – causalgia. RDS patients do not have obvious evidence of nerve damage, while sufferers of the less common causalgia do have evidence of nerve damage, such as nerve lesions. Causalgia tends to be the more painful of the two, scoring a 42 out of a possible 50 on the McGill scale.
The cause of CRPS is not known; in fact, it is believed that there are most likely several causes that all generate the same symptoms as opposed to just one specific cause. Typically, CRPS develops after a serious injury. In this case, you should contact a California CRPS lawsuit attorney to discuss your options. The early signs of the syndrome involve the injured party feeling a higher level of pain than the wound would suggest. For example, a person with an injury to a single digit may soon feel pain spreading throughout the entire arm.
Pain is the number one symptom of CRPS. The pain is normally described by patients as a “burning” sensation, and is often accompanied by swelling, redness, and warmth around the affected area. If the affected area is a joint, then joint stiffness and swelling are commonly seen and these reduce mobility dramatically. The texture and condition of the skin may also change beyond a typical redness and warmth. In some patients, the affected area is constantly a different temperature from its unaffected, opposite body part, and the skin may appear thin, shiny, and excessively sweaty.
Diagnosis and Risk Factors
CRPS most commonly affects young adults, ages 20-35, with woman suffering from the disorder more often than men. Children can also be diagnosed with CRPS, and there is no cure. Many people have noted a connection between the physical and psychological effects of CRPS. The physical pain might be heightened in persons suffering from severe emotional stress, and of course living with chronic pain will take an emotional and mental toll on any person.
Prognosis and Treatment
As stated above, there is no cure for CRPS, but there are several treatments used to relieve the painful symptoms. Psychotherapy, physical therapy, and medicinal treatments such as narcotics, corticosteroids, and other drugs are commonly used to help patients with RDS or causalgia. More intensive treatment is also offered for persons whose pain is extreme. These include implanted nerve blocks, implanted drug pumps which can be used to send pain medication into the spinal fluid, or electrical spinal cord stimulation.
When CRPS is identified early, containment and prevention of pain spreading throughout an entire limb or multiple limbs are possible. Researchers are continuously looking for new treatments and possible cures for RDS and causalgia, as well as other nerve damage disorders.
Lawsuits and Damages
In some cases, RDS or causalgia has been the source of legal concern for the afflicted person. If the CRPS developed shortly after an injury caused by a second party, a California complex regional pain syndrome attorney can help. That second party could be legally at fault for the injured party’s suffering. Another cause of legal action is medical negligence by physicians or medical professionals leading to a patient’s development of CRPS. When medical negligence has occurred, the person whose life has been severely altered by chronic pain should be entitled to a certain amount in damages. For more information about California CRPS lawsuits or for answers to any legal or insurance questions regarding this chronic condition, contact psblaw.com.