Some motor vehicle accidents can cause an individual to suffer long-term injuries that have no easy cure or result in permanent disabilities. One rare medical condition that can plague a crash victim with constant pain usually affecting an arm or leg is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
If you developed CRPS, it may be more challenging to settle your claim with the negligent driver's insurance company due to the rarity of this condition. You need the help of an experienced car accident attorney who can fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
While the reasons for CRPS aren't completely clear, it's often related to an injury to the peripheral and central nervous systems as a result of forceful trauma from a car accident. The pain a person experiences because of CRPS may not present in direct correlation with the actual injury.
This lack of causality makes it even more difficult to make a connection between CRPS and accident trauma, and increases someone's frustration to cope with the condition, as others might not take it seriously.
There are two types of CRPS:
- Type 1. This is the most common type of complex regional pain syndrome, and is often referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS). When a person suffers with Type 1, the accident injury didn't cause any nerve damage to the affected limb.
- Type 2. While the symptoms are often the same as with Type 1 complex regional pain syndrome, there's also evidence of nerve injury not only in the affected limb but in other areas of the body due to the residual dysfunction within the nervous system.
Symptoms of CRPS
Not every individual who suffers an injury to an arm or leg develops CRPS. However, a medical condition doesn't need to be catastrophic for it to cause this disorder. Fractures, sprains, crushing injuries, and amputations are some of the injuries that can trigger RSDS.
- Throbbing or burning pain
- Sensitivity to touch and cold
- Swelling of the painful area
- Changing skin temperatures from feeling cold to sweaty
- Skin color changes to white, mottled, red, or blue
- Hair and nail growth changes
- Swelling and damage to the joints
- Muscle spasms and weakness
- Lack of mobility in the affected body part
When symptoms progress, the damage may be irreversible. A variety of treatment options may be needed and can include pain medications, corticosteroids, physical therapy, and spinal cord stimulation.
Treatments for CPRS can be lengthy and expensive, but they often help reduce pain and improve quality of life. If a negligent driver caused this medical condition, he's responsible for compensating you for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.