As a medical malpractice attorney I have represented numerous clients suffering from CRPS-Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Sadly, I typically learn that my client’s physicians fail to explain what CRPS is and what the future looks like for a CRPS patient.
To start, it is important to understand that CRPS is a disorder of the nervous system as opposed to a simple nerve injury. Specifically, CRPS involves the malfunctioning of portions of the nervous systems. These malfunctioning portions of the nervous system, amongst other abnormalities, sense severe pain and send pain messages to the brain despite the absence of anything that could be causing pain. By way of example, it may be helpful to think of these malfunctioning nerves as damaged telephone wires that are sending distorted and inaccurate messages.
Thus, pain out of proportion to any injury or pressure is the hallmark symptom of CRPS. And, unfortunately, all too often, doctors do not pay enough attention to a patients pain complaints.
Specifically, an MD who is confronted with a patient experiencing disproportionate pain must have CRPS within their diagnosis and treat accordingly. That treatment includes the use of neuropathic pain medications and injections called sympathetic blocks. Sympathetic blocks anesthetize the sympathetic nervous system. It is noteworthy that CRPS used to be called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy).
Moreover, it is important to quickly administer these treatments. If CRPS pain continues unabated, that pain becomes permanently tattooed on the patient’s central nervous system. This permanent transformation of the nervous system, called Central Sensitization, often occurs within a few months of the initial injury. Once Central Sensitization occurs, the patient is destined to a life of permanent severe pain and often disability.
Therefore, if you are suffering from CRPS and do not believe your doctor or doctors promptly responded I urge you to seek legal counseling. The costs associated with your condition will likely be quite substantial and your quality of life will be severely damaged.