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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Common Client Questions About CRPS

Our legal team at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold in Richmond have been serving clients in Kentucky for over a century, and we regularly handle workers’ compensation claims. An injury can sometimes lead to chronic and lasting pain that doctors have been able to identify as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Here, we answer some common questions about CRPS.

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a type of chronic pain that can develop after an injury, surgery, stroke or a heart attack and usually affects an arm or a leg.

Common signs and symptoms of CRPS typically occur in an arm, leg, hand or foot and can include:

  • Constant throbbing or burning pain
  • Sensitivity to temperature change (especially cold) or touch
  • Swelling
  • Change in skin temperature, texture and/or skin color
  • Joint stiffness or swelling and sometimes even damage
  • Muscle weakness (atrophy), tremors or spasms
  • Decreased mobility in the affected

Over time, the symptoms can change and get worse. If the affected limb or area becomes cold and pale and the muscle begins to tighten and spasm, it is usually a sign that the condition is getting worse and could even become irreversible. Symptoms may also eventually spread to other parts of the body, for example the other arm or leg.

There are two types of CRPS. Type I is called sympathetic dystrophy and is identified when CRPS develops without known damage to the nerve. Type II CRPS is called causalgia and is diagnosed when there is known to have been specific damage to the nerve.

Is CRPS considered a disability?

It can be, yes. While CRPS is a rare disease, it is diagnosable. CRPS can progress to disabling symptoms if it is not diagnosed and treated early.

While a CRPS diagnosis does not automatically qualify you for disability benefits, it is recognized as a potential cause of disability. If you are suffering from CRPS and considering filing a Social Security Disability claim, you must be able to show that the condition is expected to last for at least a year, or that you have already had the condition for a year.

If I have CRPS, can I pursue a workers’ compensation claim?

Yes. If the original injury that ultimately lead to a diagnosis of CRPS happened in the workplace, the employee may be eligible for workers’ compensation wage and medical benefits. If your continued employment and work has amplified your CRPS symptoms and made them worse, you may also be able to pursue a claim for workers’ compensation.

How can our CRPS injury attorneys help?

Every case and situation is unique. At Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold, our workers’ compensation attorneys can help assess your case and identify potential claims. With CRPS, you may also be able to file a claim for disability. An attorney who understands the debilitative and chronic nature of CRPS can help make sure that your claim for disability gets filled correctly, with all of the necessary ingredients to give it the best chance for success.

CRPS may also be part of a larger potential personal injury claim and qualify you for additional damages. An experienced CRPS lawyer can help identify all of the possible claims that could be made for your particular injury and case.

Don’t wait! Call our CRPS injury lawyers today.

If you are suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, we can help answer your specific questions. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you pursue a claim for damages related to your CRPS diagnosis. Contact us today at 859-353-0878 or email us to schedule your free consultation.