Most people understand there is a lot of risk involved in getting behind the wheel of a car. Every day, people end up dead or with life-altering injuries, like traumatic brain injuries or spinal damage, as the result of a motor vehicle collision. That could lead you to think that you’re lucky to only have to deal with a broken arm or leg.
In many cases, broken bones after a crash heal cleanly and with minimal issues. Other times, however, you may start experiencing worsening pain when you know your bone should be in the process of healing. That increased pain or sensitivity could be a sign of developing a severe medical condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), CRPS is a serious and progressive sympathetic nervous system disease. Typically, the condition starts as a result of some kind of trauma, such as surgery or a broken bone. Then, instead of healing and the pain going away, severe, debilitating pain may remain well past the point when the original injury heals.
Those with CRPS describe the pain as burning or deep chronic pain. People may also experience extreme sensitivity to the lightest touch sensation. Clothing or water spray from a shower could cause acute pain. Other symptoms often include a difference in temperature when compared with the opposite limb, a change in skin, hair or nail color or texture, excessive sweating and decreased strength in the affected limb or extremity.
CRPS could keep you from furthering your career
For many people, CRPS eventually spreads to another limb or body part. While some therapies can reduce pain and other symptoms, there is no cure for CRPS at this time. Prolonged experience of intense pain can result in chronic insomnia, which also has a host of adverse effects. Between the physical symptoms associated with CRPS and the reduced ability to focus that results from both pain and lack of sleep, many people with CRPS can’t work like they did before the injury.
Getting a proper diagnosis is a critical first step toward moving forward with your life after developing CRPS. Many doctors are not familiar with this relatively rare condition and could mistakenly misdiagnose you with another condition, like fibromyalgia or even as a medication-seeking addict. Once you have a diagnosis, you can start looking at your options.
When another person causes a car crash that results in a permanent disability, like CRPS, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is often a wise choice. Doing so can help ensure that you won’t end up indigent as a result of someone else’s mistake.