Complex Regional Pain Syndrome After a Car Crash

Complex regional pain syndrome is a less known consequence of an injury, surgery or a stroke.

It affects victims of all ages and it’s quite uncommon. Doctors have yet to understand it perfectly, but there are some treatment schemes that work. Moreover, you can even expect full recovery if you intervene early on.

Let’s see what CRPS is and what to do if you are suffering from it after a car accident.

leg pain after car crash

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

CRPS is a form of chronic pain, which means it will manifest over a prolonged period of time. It is believed that it’s caused by damage to the nervous system, which can happen during a car accident.

Sometimes, nerve damage is confirmed by medical investigations and the patient is classified to have the CRPS-II type. For the patients with yet unconfirmed nerve damage, the condition is classified as CRPS-I. This syndrome most often affects one limb: an arm or a leg that hurts out of proportion to the initial injury and manifests modified characteristics.

Symptoms of CRPS

Symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Pain that spreads from a very localized injury (for example, pain affecting the whole leg, even though only a toe is actually hurt;)
  • A sensation of “pins and needles” in the affected limb
  • The skin on the affected limb might appear different: pale, blueish, blotched, warmer/cooler
  • Sweat, nail growth or hair growth might become different in the affected limb
  • Stiffness and limited mobility in the limb

As you can see, CRPS can manifest in ways that can affect someone’s life greatly. In more severe cases, the complex regional pain syndrome cannot be treated and the patient will be left with a permanent or long-term disability.

Treatment of CRPS

Neural stimulation, medication, physiotherapy and even surgery to cut down some of your nerves can be used to treat CRPS. Your doctor will decide which treatment to follow based on the severity of your injury and your medical history.

Follow your doctor’s orders and keep records of every medical visit and investigation you get.

What to Do If a Car Accident Caused CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome is difficult to prove, and sometimes it’s improperly diagnosed as something else. Doctors usually rely on anamnesis and observations, but there is no foolproof way of identifying it.

This makes CRPS cases more difficult for car accident lawyers as well. If you are a victim of a car accident and you notice symptoms like those mentioned above, tell your St. Louis car accident lawyer that you might deal with a type of chronic pain and you need a settlement that should cover future expenses as well.

Make sure not to return to work before your doctor approves it, and not to skip any recommended treatment, as your settlement might be affected.

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Updated: April 6, 2020