Pittsburgh Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Lawyer
Representing Seriously Injured Clients Throughout Western Pennsylvania
Complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS) is rare, but a life-altering condition that is commonly associated with a traumatic personal injury, and therefore, associated with the negligent acts or failures of third-parties (i.e., a speeding driver in a serious motor vehicle accident, or a negligent supervisor in a warehouse forklift accident).
Many patients with legitimate CPRS claims shy away from litigation, perhaps due to the fact that the condition is poorly understood at this juncture. Many doctors have not been properly trained to identify and treat CPRS, thus leaving the victim with a cloudy — and at times, extremely misleading — understanding of what is happening with their bodies. The lack of diagnostic and treatment progress can itself lead to severe emotional distress over time.
If you are suffering (or have suffered) from complex regional pain syndrome, Pennsylvania law may entitle you to recover damages. Fill out our online form or call The Law Office of Mark A. Smith to set up a free consultation with a leading personal injury attorney today.
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
In order to litigate a complex regional pain syndrome claim, one must be able to demonstrate that they are actually suffering from the condition. If you have not been formally diagnosed with CPRS, then, in some cases, the healthcare professional(s) who misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose the condition may be held liable for medical malpractice.
Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic, progressive neurological condition — in other words, it is a systematic condition that is active throughout the body and can grow more severe over time. There are two types of CPRS — Type I and Type II — which have different physical causes, but which generally result in similar symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Severe, prolonged pain in the extremities and limbs (CPRS is rated as the most severe chronic pain condition in existence)
- Issues with temperature regulation (your limbs may feel extremely cold, for example) caused by nerve damage that interferes with blood microcirculation
- Abnormal, excessive sweating
- Joint and limb stiffness, which can affect smooth movement
- Muscle movement and coordination issues
- Increased sensitivity to touch, which can result in serious discomfort in normal day-to-day activities
- Inconsistent sensation in one’s limbs, which can create confusion and distress
In decades prior, the symptoms associated with CPRS were assumed to originate entirely from “the patient’s mind,” and injury claims involving CPRS were often attacked by defense attorneys on this basis. Defense attorneys formulate arguments that amounted, essentially, to assertions that the patient was lying about their condition or otherwise exaggerating its effects.
Though new research is changing our understanding of this terrible condition, there continues to be a great deal of misinformation floating around about CPRS. The defense in your lawsuit will almost certainly attempt to undermine your condition and your experience thereof. As such, it’s important that you consult with an attorney who has experience successfully litigating CPRS claims and overcoming the informational barriers that are inherent to such claims.
Common Causes of CPRS
There are no specific, identifiable causes of CPRS that always lead to the development of the condition (though research into Type II CPRS has revealed the existence of nerve lesions that could contribute to the development of the condition). Researchers do believe, however, that CPRS is caused — generally — by traumatic injury to the peripheral and central nervous systems. It is not clear why some patients develop CPRS, and others don’t when exposed to the same traumatic injury.
New research has also revealed the possibility of injured nerve fibers miscommunicating with blood vessels, which leads to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in muscles and joints, and ultimately, damage to the affected areas (and severe pain symptoms). Some studies have also pointed to the possibility of a genetic role.
In arguing your claims, we will call attention to causes that are strongly associated with the development of CPRS. These include:
- Burn injuries
- Limb immobilization
- Surgical intervention
- Minor triggers (such as needle puncturing)
- And more.
If you have been exposed to such triggers due to the negligence of a third-party, then you may be entitled to recover for CPRS-related damages.
Contact Our Injury Law Firm Today
Attorney Mark A. Smith has over 23 years of experience successfully litigating personal injury and medical malpractice claims, but despite his successes, he believes deeply in transparency. You are encouraged to call or fill out the online form for a free consultation to discuss your case, as well as to discuss any lingering questions that you may have. Mark is happy to answer all your questions and help set your mind at ease.