Workers Compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Suffering an injury at work can have lasting consequences, especially when it leads to chronic and debilitating pain, including conditions like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). At the Law Offices of Cantrell Green in Long Beach, California, our experienced attorneys are here to assist you in navigating this complex process.
In this article our experienced workers compensation attorneys explore both the challenges and the options for injured employees seeking to collect workers’ compensation benefits Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, often referred to as CRPS, is a chronic and debilitating pain condition that typically develops after an injury, surgery, or trauma. It can affect various parts of the body, including the limbs, and is characterized by severe, persistent pain, changes in skin color and temperature, and swelling.
CRPS is most often triggered by a serious trauma or injury to the body, such as a fracture, dislocation, sprain, or blow. It can also develop after surgery. However, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome can also develop after a seemingly minor injury or for no apparent reason.
The exact underlying cause of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is not completely understood and remains under investigation. But it is believed that CRPS involves abnormal responses in the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as immune system involvement.
If you think you or someone you know may have CRPS, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve the prognosis. And if you are considering filing a workers compensation claim for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome it is essential that you have timely and thorough medical documentation to support your claim.
How Common is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
CRPS affects approximately 200,000 people in the United States each year. The incidence of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is 26.2 per 100,000 person-years in the United States.
CRPS is most common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is more common in women than in men, with women being 3.4 times more likely to develop CRPS than men.
How Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is Diagnosed
CRPS is diagnosed through a combination of clinical evaluation, medical history, and diagnostic tests. Medical professionals may use imaging studies, such as X-rays or bone scans, to assess changes in affected areas. Additionally, the ‘Budapest Criteria’ are often utilized for diagnosis.
The Budapest Criteria for diagnosing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) were developed in 2003 to provide more objective and reliable criteria for diagnosing this complex and often misunderstood condition. The criteria are based on a combination of symptoms, signs, and temporal features.
To meet the Budapest Criteria for CRPS, a patient must have at least one symptom in each of the following four categories:
- Hyperesthesia: Increased sensitivity to touch.
- Allodynia: Pain from stimuli that do not normally cause pain, such as a light touch or cold temperature.
- Deep somatic hyperalgesia: Increased sensitivity to deep pressure, such as pressing on a muscle or bone.
- Temperature asymmetry: A difference in temperature between the affected limb and the unaffected limb.
- Skin color changes: The affected limb may be red, blue, or pale.
- Asymmetry in sweating: The affected limb may sweat more or less than the unaffected limb.
Swelling & Sweating:
- Edema: Swelling of the affected limb.
- Sweating changes or asymmetry: The affected limb may sweat more or less than the unaffected limb.
- Decreased range of motion: Difficulty moving the affected limb.
- Motor dysfunction: Weakness, tremor, or dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions) in the affected limb.
- Trophic changes: Changes in the hair, nails, and skin of the affected limb.
It is important to note that not all patients with CRPS will experience all of these symptoms and signs. However, the presence of two or more of these criteria for three months or more in the absence of another explanation is typically suggestive of a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Proving Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for Workers Compensation
Collecting workers’ compensation for CRPS (and other conditions involving debilitating pain) can be challenging, as it requires demonstrating that the condition is directly related to a workplace injury or incident and that the pain and other symptoms are “real.”
This entails providing medical evidence, expert opinions, and documentation to establish the connection between the injury and the development of CRPS, as well as the extent of the symptoms that can often be perceived as “subjective.”
Difficulty Collecting Workers Compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Proving causation is often the most challenging aspect of collecting workers’ compensation for CRPS. Insurance companies may dispute the link between the workplace incident and the development of the condition, making it crucial to have legal representation.
Additionally, because pain, sweating, sensitivity and other indicators of CRPS are uniquely “subjective” experience they cannot be exactly quantified by specific tests. So, the opinions and supporting documentation of physicians and specialists is of the utmost importance in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome workers’ compensation cases.
Why Have an Attorney for Workers Compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
As you can see, navigating the workers’ compensation system for CRPS can be intricate and fraught with obstacles. Having a skilled workers compensation attorney handling your case is essential to help you gather the necessary medical evidence, handle negotiations, and represent your best interests when dealing with insurance companies or employers.
Workers Compensation Attorneys for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
The attorneys at Cantrell Green in Long Beach, California, understand the complexities of collecting workers’ compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. We understand that your pain, sensitivity, and other issues are not only very real, but that they can make it impossible for you to work.
If you’re dealing with CRPS resulting from a workplace injury, our dedicated team of workers’ compensation attorneys is here to support you throughout the process, ensuring you have the best chance of obtaining the compensation for CRPS to which you are entitled.
Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys today to discuss your case and start your journey towards recovery and justice as soon as possible.
Workers Compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: 800-964-8047