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Am I at Risk for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) After an Accident?

Published on Jun 20, 2019 at 3:54 pm in Car Accidents.

Blue stethoscope next to corner of laptop

When you’ve been in a car crash, you may have injuries. You may expect to get treated for common injuries like whiplash or a broken bone. You think you’ll undergo treatment and will heal over time. But sometimes, pain may persist, indicating that something more may be happening. It’s possible that you may have complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS. This kind of injury can be difficult to diagnose and treat. When the medical bills start to compile, you need someone who will fight for your rights to compensation. Wishart Brain & Spine Law has skilled Vancouver car accident lawyers who can get you a fair settlement after a negligent driver has harmed you.

Defining Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome typically affects a limb after a traumatic injury. However, those who have heart attacks, surgery, or an infection can also get CRPS. It’s a chronic pain, which is usually categorized as pain that lasts longer than six months. CRPS happens because of damage to the nervous system. The central nervous system is the brain and spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system involves the rest of the body. It relays messages back to the brain.

There are two types of CRPS. CRPS-I means there isn’t a confirmed nerve injury, whereas those with CRPS-II have a confirmed nerve injury. Those who suffer from CRPS can experience a wide range of symptom severity and how long the symptoms last. For some, the symptoms are mild and will go away in time. If a person has a severe case, their symptoms may never go away, and they may have a long-term disability.

Symptoms

If you’re suffering from ongoing pain in a limb that feels like burning or pins and needles, you may want to know more about additional symptoms that can accompany CRPS.

  • Burning, throbbing pain
  • Swelling at the injury site
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Injury site is sensitive or cold to touch
  • Skin temperature changes
  • Skin texture changes
  • Skin color changes, which can include white, red, and blue
  • Hair and nail growth changes
  • Limited mobility

If you’re experiencing prolonged pain, you need to get to a doctor as soon as possible. You could face significant risks if you have CRPS but it goes undiagnosed and untreated. Your reduced ability to move a limb could lead to atrophy, or when the tissues begin to deteriorate. Your muscles could tighten, called contracture, which could force your hands, feet, finger, or toes to remain in a fixed position.

Car Accidents and CRPS

If you were involved in a car accident, you may have suffered from a traumatic injury. A forceful blow from the impact could lead to CRPS. While some people may develop CRPS and others don’t, it’s still important to get a medical evaluation regardless so you can start treating your injuries.

CRPS does not have a specific test that will tell you that you have it. Doctors have to carefully examine your medical history, listen to your symptoms, keep track if anything changes in terms of improvement or deterioration, and will use tests so they can rule out other possible injuries. They have to make sure you don’t have a different injury that requires its own form of treatment.

Treatment for CRPS can include medication and therapy because it affects so many facets of your life. For physical pain, you may undergo physical therapy that will help your blood flow to the affected area and maintain your limb’s strength and mobility. In addition to therapy, you may take certain medication to treat pain. For lower level pain, over the counter medicine can work. Intense pain may require prescriptions for stronger medicine.

CRPS can significantly affect your mental health as well. It’s not easy to deal with a chronic, painful injury. Your mental health is just as important as physical health, and if you’re feeling depressed or anxious, a professional can help you. Leaving your mental health go untreated can affect your efforts to recover.

The Lawyers at Wishart Brain & Spine Law Are Here for You

When you’re trying to recover and treat a difficult injury, you don’t need to have external stressors in your life. Worrying about your financial situation or if you’ll have a successful claim can create anxiety and inhibit your recovery process. We’re here to help alleviate that stress. Our skilled lawyers will do everything possible to get you a favorable settlement. You’ll be able to attend to your treatment knowing that you can afford your hospital bills and still put food on the table. Get in touch with us today so we can start fighting for you.

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