Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Work-Related Injuries
Before the widespread availability of antibiotics, a minor injury could get infected and cause permanent damage to a large area of the body, or even death. Today, it is usually possible to prevent disastrous consequences of infected minor wounds, but it is still possible that the body’s response to a minor injury will be disproportionate and cause chronic symptoms, usually for non-infectious reasons. You may have heard about post-viral syndromes that are much more severe and longer lasting than the initial acute disease, such as the paralysis that affects about a third of people diagnosed with polio. Likewise, a small portion of relatively minor traumatic injuries can result in a poorly understood condition called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which can cause chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms. Managing your symptoms with the help of doctors of your own choosing is difficult enough, but injured workers trying to get their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance to pay for CRPS treatment truly face an uphill battle. If your CRPS is related to a work injury, you need a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex regional pain syndrome is disproportionate pain and tissue damage to a part of the body affected by a minor traumatic injury, such as a sprained shoulder. Even worse, it can spread to other parts of the body, beyond the site of the injury, sometimes affecting one or more entire limbs. About one out of every three patients with CRPS experiences symptoms throughout their entire body. These are just some of the troublesome symptoms CRPS patients sometimes experience:
- Intense pain in the affected body part or other body parts; episodes of pain sometimes occur spontaneously with no identifiable trigger
- Swelling of the affected body part
- Nerve damage
- Loss of bone density or muscle mass
- Skin rashes and inexplicable changes in skin temperature
- Loss of range of motion of the affected body part
By some accounts, the pain of CRPS is the most severe pain imaginable, even worse than unmedicated childbirth.
Challenges Faced by Patients Trying to Get Workers’ Compensation to Pay for CRPS Treatment
While there is no known cure for CRPS, it is possible to manage your symptoms with a doctor’s help. It is notoriously difficult to get workers’ compensation insurance to pay for treatment of chronic pain after your visible injuries have healed. A Broward County dental hygienist spent 17 years in court before getting a settlement for the CRPS she suffered as a result of a wrist injury at work. Likewise, Eric, a construction worker in Miami, developed CRPS after a work-related shoulder injury. His employer initially denied his claim, but the appeals court later ordered the employer to cover his treatment.
Let Us Help You Today
A Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get your treatment covered if you suffer from chronic pain after an accidental injury at work. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for help with your case.