Did you suffer a minor physical injury but have been experiencing serious, seemingly unrelated symptoms? Have various medical professionals been unable to conclusively diagnose the cause of your symptoms? Believe it or not, it may have been that minor bump on the head that has been causing you prolonged and debilitating neck pain and headaches. Maybe the time you jammed your finger in a minor auto accident is causing you to experience chronic pain in both arms. Chances are that you have been made to feel as though the pain is “all in your head.” However, you may be suffering from a very real personal injury and medical condition that is NOT in your head at all. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, better known as CPRS, is a rare condition in your sympathetic nervous system that is known to cause severe, prolonged pain and related symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Symptoms of CRPS can present themselves anywhere in the body, and the magnitude of the injury is rarely proportionate to the symptoms. For example, a small laceration on your right foot could cause chronic pain that spreads up your entire right leg before manifesting itself in your left leg as well. The cause, clinical symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of CRPS are still largely uncertain. Nevertheless, there have been numerous cases of CRPS.
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of CRPS due to another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The complicated and uncertain nature of CRPS requires that you seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you are in the Rock Hill area and believe that you may be the victim of CRPS, your first step should be to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm.
In the meantime, the following general overview of CRPS can help you assess whether CRPS may be the cause of your severe, yet unexplained symptoms.
Potential Causes of CRPS
CRPS is typically caused by trauma. It has also been seen following surgery, infection, or radiation. Commonly, symptoms of CRPS are initially restricted to the site of injury. Eventually, the symptoms may spread or shift for no apparent reason to other parts of the body.
This strange and unpredictable behavior of the symptoms is what makes it so very hard to pinpoint and diagnose CRPS. The fact that the severity of the injury is typically minor in comparison to the resulting symptoms makes recognizing, diagnosing, and treating CRPS that much more complicated. Often, many CRPS sufferers do not even remember the minor trauma that they had sustained many months prior the onset of CRPS symptoms.
So what is the “injury” you ask? The generally accepted answer is that CRPS is the result of an autonomic disturbance that persists long after an individual thinks that they have recovered from a minor trauma.
Symptoms Commonly Observed in Those Diagnosed with CRPS
Some common manifestations of CRPS include the following:
- Extreme pain which typically manifests in the arms or legs. (However, CRPS has been documented on nearly every part of the body)
- Unexplained sensitivity to light and touch
- Localized swelling and/or unusual temperature fluctuations (typically localized heat accompanied by sweating)
- Burning sensations
- Joint pain
The Struggles Associated with a CRPS Personal Injury Action
In an action to collect compensation for personal injuries, it is essential that the plaintiff be able to prove, among other things, that (1) they actually sustained an injury and (2) the injury was caused by the negligence of another.
These two essential elements are where claims for CRPS can get very complicated. Being able to prove the existence of CRPS is challenging enough, let alone being able to prove that a particular minor injury is actually what caused your symptoms. Defense attorneys may try to argue that your symptoms were actually caused by a completely unrelated pre-existing injury or accident, the mechanism of which is far more understood and generally accepted in the medical and legal community.
Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer in South Carolina Today
Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as you suspect CRPS is essential to your ability to receive the compensation you deserve. There are medical experts who specialize in understanding and treating this rare and misunderstood condition. The personal injury attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm want to help you find the right medical experts to diagnose and treat your CRPS while guiding you through the complicated obstacles that go hand in hand with filing a CRPS action.
Advances are regularly being made in the medical world with respect to not only treating and diagnosing CRPS, but with respect to discovering potential treatment of this debilitating condition. Medical treatments and evaluations cost money. CRPS sufferers should not be forced to bear this expense should that seemingly “minor” injury that set this chronic pain in motion was caused by another’s negligence. The attorneys at Elrod Pope are here to help.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.