Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex regional pain syndrome, also referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a chronic pain condition in which nerves are over-stimulated by impulses due to dysfunction, and/or a malfunction, in the central or peripheral nervous system. Complex regional pain syndrome is most commonly seen in people age 20 to 35. It is more common in women than men.

There are two types:

  • Type I: occurring after an illness or injury that did not directly damage a nerve.
  • Type II occurring after a distinct nerve injury.

Common causes include:

  • Forceful trauma to fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet or torso;
  • Surgery;
  • Heart attacks;
  • Fractures; and
  • Sprains.

Common symptoms include:

  • Burning pain;
  • Swelling and stiffness in the affected area;
  • Muscle spasms;
  • Muscle loss (atrophy)
  • Difficulty controlling the affected area;
  • Change in nail or hair growth in and around the affected area;
  • Skin temperature change (warmer or cooler than unaffected areas);
  • Skin changes, including redness, shininess, and/or a wax-like appearance.

Complex regional pain syndrome typically presents in three stages:

  • Stage 1: Onset of severe pain, with swelling and sensitivity (duration 1-3 months).
  • Stage 2: Changes to color and texture of skin with muscle and joint stiffness, and the spread of swelling (duration 3-6 months).
  • Stage 3: Severe damage, including very limited movement, permanent change to skin and muscle loss.

Treatments for complex regional pain syndrome include prescription medication, heat/cold therapy, physical therapy, Capsaicin cream, sympathetic nerve blocks, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, biofeedback and spinal cord stimulation.

The lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have considerable experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict cases involving severe personal injuries, including complex regional pain syndrome and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Contact us now to discuss your case or concerns.