When you are injured in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation typically covers the cost of your emergency medical care, physical therapy and workplace retraining after the accident. In some cases, however, what start out as simple injuries, such as broken bones, may progress into something more serious and lifelong, such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Both of these terms refer to the same debilitating nerve-related disorder that occurs in a small percentage of people who sustain broken bone injuries due to some kind of trauma.
While you may have felt lucky at the time of your injury that all you sustained was a broken bone, as you heal and worse symptoms emerge, you may wonder what is happening to your body. RSD can be a serious and permanent issue that takes weeks or even months to present symptoms after a traumatic injury. That can make obtaining benefits for the condition under workers’ compensation more difficult. If you believe you have developed RSD/CRPS as the result of a broken bone, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of RSD/CRPS?
RSD/CRPS is a neurological condition that results must likely from damage to nerves around the site of a traumatic injury. Typically, those who suffer from RSD only realize what is happening as their injuries heal but their symptoms don’t improve. RSD is associated with deep pain, often called a burning or freezing pain, as well as extreme skin sensitivity in the affected area. The skin’s temperature may be different than the same limb on the other side of the body. The skin itself may change in appearance, color or texture, while hair or nail appearance may also change.
People with RSD may experience decreased strength or range of motion in the effected limb or extremity. They may experience severe swelling or inflammation of the affected area, as well as abnormal sweating in the area. These symptoms may come and go, or fluctuate in severity over time. However, typically, these symptoms will persist for life, making RSD a truly debilitating condition that requires additional medical and financial support.
An attorney can help if you believe you have RSD/CRPS
RSD/CRPS are unusual, but not entirely rare, conditions. If you believe you are experiencing the symptoms of RSD, you should speak with an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you connect with a medical professional who understands and can diagnose this condition. An attorney can also help you negotiate for the coverage and financial support you need after obtaining an RSD diagnosis.