What Should CRPS Patients Do After Diagnosis?
CRPS affects every patient differently. It’s estimated that 90% of those with a CRPS diagnosis suffer from Type I. The remaining 10% of patients suffer from Type II. In our first article about CRPS in early 2018, CRPS Victims Are Suffering Physically, Financially After Medical Malpractice we provide insight what CRPS is. From our very first article, we always stress that Medical Malpractice victims should consult with a Board Certified lawyer. CRPS patients may have grounds for litigation if their diagnosis is a direct result of a doctor’s negligence.
As we explain in 2018’s popular Victims Benefit From CRPS Treatment, But Medical Bills Pile Up After Malpractice, Accident writeup:
“[…]CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is what was formerly known as RSD. CRPS is a pain disorder and considered to be permanent, or as medical professionals often refer to it: “chronic”. There are several ways a person can develop Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. CRPS can develop because of medical malpractice such as a surgical error, or can be sustained from an accident. Regardless of how they developed the condition, it’s considered to be one of the most excruciating, permanent afflictions a person can suffer from.“
Diagnosis and prognosis for CRPS patients
Now, this new writeup on CRPS delves into diagnosis and prognosis of CRPS patients. At the end of this writeup, readers will find links to further reading on CRPS via the Shaked Law Resource.
How is a CRPS diagnosis made?
According to medical professionals with extensive knowledge of disease expression, there isn’t a specific test confirms a diagnosis of CRPS. CRPS is a “diagnosis of exclusion”. Doctor’s refer to this as a “clinical diagnosis”. A clinical diagnosis is useful when there is no standard medical test available to determine what condition a patient suffers from.
Why do CRPS patients receive a diagnosis of exclusion?
There are several other pain conditions that require a diagnosis of exclusion. Fibromyalgia, for instance, is a pain condition that receives a diagnosis by most physicians after touching a patient’s “pressure points”. The pain then receives a “score”. This test is not standard. That’s because every patient feels pain differently. Other illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis must be ruled out before a CRPS diagnosis is made. Confusing one illness for another may be a misdiagnosis in certain cases.
The same chance of misdiagnosis applies to CRPS. Largely, CRPS diagnoses’ are made by looking at a patient’s medical history. Doctors must take the area where painful symptoms occur into account. CRPS is largely a process of the nervous system. When there is no visible reason for the pain, but it persists, a diagnosis of CRPS Type-I is relevant. When a patient has a clear injury to the nerves (trauma post accident), a diagnosis of CRPS Type-II is relevant.
Diagnostic imaging for CRPS patients
MRI is necessary in certain cases to confirm clinical diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This is due to the fact that bone reabsorption is a common co-morbidity (often found to exist in) of CRPS. Bone reabsorption is a condition in which cells break down the bones. During this process, they release excess calcium into the bloodstream. However, doctors cannot rely solely on this symptom, as this finding is relevant in other illnesses too.
What happens after CRPS patients receive a diagnosis?
There are several factors doctors consider when treating a patient presenting with pain from possible CRPS. Younger people such as children and adolescents who present with the symptoms have a better chance of recovering some quality of life.
When do CRPS patients need a lawyer?
There are some cases which do not offer a promising outlook. These cases are usually found in older people, and those who sustain injuries in accidents in conjunction with CRPS. These tend to have a less favorable prognosis. Whether due to Medical Malpractice, negligence, or accident. Thus, these severe cases are the ones that require consultation with a lawyer as soon as possible post accident.
It’s important for victims of Medical Malpractice to know they should never suffer in silence. A Personal Injury lawyer with experience in CRPS cases is there to help them. A lawyer with Board Certification can obtain the compensation victims deserve. Compensation allows victims of Medical Malpractice or negligence the financial stability to afford proper pain management.
See below for further reading from our Shaked Law Resource on CRPS:
- After CRPS Diagnosis, What Happens Next?
- CRPS and Misdiagnosis: What’s the Link?
- How is CRPS and a Routine Blood Draw Related?