Crush injuries are common in severe personal injury accidents. Workplace accidents, car accidents, and other types of accidents can cause a person’s hands or feet to become crushed. When patients experience crush injuries to their feet and hands, they are more likely to suffer from complex regional pain syndrome. As a result, patients often experience catastrophic pain syndromes for decades or the rest of their lives.

The Causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Doctors used to diagnose patients with severe pain caused by crushing accidents with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Now doctors refer to this medical diagnosis as complex regional pain syndrome type 1. Researchers have recently discovered that complex regional pain syndrome type 1 due to crushing injuries is caused by an impairment in blood flow. In crush injuries, blood flow becomes impaired, resulting in significant soft tissue sprains.

The arterial pressure cannot properly perfuse to the injured tissue. As a result, the patient’s muscle pain receptors become activated. Their pain nerve fibers also become activated. In severe cases, the patient’s body does not deactivate the pain receptors or nerve fibers, resulting in chronic pain.

Complex regional pain syndrome type 1 commonly occurs when a patient has a crush injury, sprain, or fracture that produces continuous neuropathic pain when there is no evidence of nerve damage. Patients who live with it report a burning and aching sensation similar to allodynia patients. Even a simple soft touch to the area can be interpreted by the patient’s brain as pain.

Early Diagnosis is Key to Effective Treatment

Pain caused by complex regional pain syndrome type 1 is different from the pain caused by the injury itself. In patients diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome type one, their pain lasts longer than a doctor would expect from an uncomplicated soft tissue injury, fracture, or crush injury. Doctors should diagnose patients properly and as quickly as possible to receive the treatment they need. Doctors can use therapeutic sympathetic blocks and occupational and physical therapy to help the patient desensitize their painful limb or limbs.

Chronic pain can negatively affect a patient’s life for decades. Patients who have been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome usually need extensive and costly medical care, such as spinal stimulators, sympathetic nerve blocks, medication management, and ongoing psychological support. Managing chronic pain can result in patients losing their jobs and mounting medical bills.

Contact a Missouri Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today

If you or your loved one became injured in a crushing accident that resulted in chronic pain, we recommend speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If another person or business’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident that resulted in your pain symptoms, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact the catastrophic injury lawyers at Griggs Injury Law today to discuss your case at your free initial consultation.