Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: An Enigmatic Enemy

In my years as a Virginia personal injury attorney I’ve helped clients with a dizzying array of injuries and medical conditions. It always saddens me when I see someone whose suffering could have been mitigated if their condition had been diagnosed in time.

One client, a State Trooper, fell victim to misfortune and a defective product. After slashing his finger to the bone on a hubcap, he developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and watched helplessly as his right hand curled and warped into a misshapen claw-like appendage. This injury ended his career as a state trooper.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, is a chronic, progressive disease characterized by intense pain and swelling. It generally begins with a small injury, after which the blood flow to the region is compromised. The actual cause of a small trauma advancing to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is not well understood. As the disease progresses the skin and bones become irreversibly warped. In most cases this eventually leads to the affected limb being rendered all but useless.

The key to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is catching the disease early. If treatment begins within two or three months of the first symptoms, there is some chance that the limb will retain some functionality through physical therapy and drug treatments. However, if the condition goes undiagnosed for too long it is all but impossible to wrest back any function whatsoever. After a few months, most treatments will be largely ineffective.

Sadly it is too late for my client. He will deal with the complications of his condition for the rest of his life. But it is my hope that by educating people about this disease we can prevent others from being so drastically affected.

About the Author: Richmond product liability attorney Chris Guedri has over 30 years of experience handing complex defective products cases. Chris is also experienced in handling trucking and car accident cases in Richmond and throughout Virginia, some involving wrongful death or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Recognized by his peers as a superb litigator, Chris has been listed in the book Best Lawyers in America since 1995 and in 2008 he was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization of attorneys who are elected to membership based on their reputation for excellence. He has also been included among the “Legal Elite Best Lawyers in Virginia” by Virginia Business Magazine.