Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) aka Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Large Recoveries But Often Overlooked and Poorly Understood
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) also known as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is often overlooked and poorly understood by patients and their healthcare professionals. A common scenario for the development of RSD/CRPS is that a patient has an initial accident causing a crush injury, sprain, or fracture followed by neurological symptoms in which the nervous system keeps sending constant signals of pain to the brain long after the initial injury has healed. Part of the difficulty in recognizing the signs and symptoms of RSD/CRPS is that the underlying injury often appears trivial compared to the severity of the ongoing RSD/CRPS, which continues on long after the underlying injury. In essence the RSD/CRPS pain becomes a disease in its own right, independent of the original injury. Some patients report that the pain becomes so intolerable they not think about anything other than the pain and cannot stand to be touched. Besides chronic pain, patients report hyper sensitivity to light touch, swelling, skin color and temperature changes. The longer RSD/CRPS symptoms persist the more the pain syndrome will become imprinted on the brain. Thus, early intervention, diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment are particularly important for successful recovery. But patients and their health providers often fail to properly diagnose RSD/CRPS. The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDA) reports that patients with RSD/CRPS on average see five health care professionals before being properly diagnosed.
In my 35 years of legal practice I have represented many clients suffering with the devastating effects of RSD/CRPS caused by construction, slip and fall, work related accidents or auto, truck, motorcycle and bicycle accidents in Boston. Many of my RSD/CRPS cases resulted in substantial recoveries with some exceeding $1.5 million. Clients have tried many different treatments with varying degrees of success, including pain injections, medications, ketamine infusion therapy, hyperbaric oxygenation therapy and surgical implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. If you or a family member have any questions about an injury involving RSD/CRPS or would like a recommendation of health care professionals who are very knowledgeable and regularly treat RSD/CRPS, please contact a Boston Head & Spinal Injury Attorney at The Law Firm of Jonathan D. Light for a free consultation or call (617) 245-0220.