Sunday, March 31, 2013

Minnesota Workers Compensation Injuries Can Result in Chronic Pain, RSD, and CRPS

When I began assisting injured workers over 20 years ago at the start of my career, I had never heard of the terms complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).  Sure we encountered clients with unusual pain patterns that had the peculiar tendency to move, but little was known about this as a stand alone disease.  This condition was not treated as a disease, but rather a symptom.  In fact, many doctors still treat CRPS as a symptom rather than the illness it is recognized today.  CRPS is a highly painful, limb-confined condition, which arises usually after trauma. It is associated with a particularly poor quality of life, and large health care costs. The causes of CRPS remain virtually unknown but is usually referred to as an immunodisorder or one's body's reaction to trauma that is extreme.   The condition's distinct combination of abnormalities includes limb-confined inflammation and tissue hypoxia, sympathetic dysregulation, small fiber damage, serum auto antibodies, central sensitization and cortical reorganization. These features place CRPS at a crossroads of interests of several disciplines including rheumatology, pain medicine and neurology.  As such it's often difficult to diagnose, treat and manage.

Significant scientific and clinical advances over the past 10 years hold promise both for an improved understanding of the causes of CRPS, and for more effective treatments.  The treatment of CRPS is multidisciplinary and aims to educate about the condition, sustain or restore limb function, reduce pain and provide psychological intervention.  Unfortunately most majo
r cities, including those in Minnesota have a very limited number of experts willing to actively treat and manage CRPS.  However, results from recent randomized controlled trials suggest that it is possible that some patients whose condition was considered refractory in the past can now be effectively treated, but confirmatory trials are required.

At Atkinson Law Office and Minnesota Disability we have represented and currently represent many clients with diagnosed CRPS.  We are familiar with the medical experts in Minnesota and are often helpful in guiding injured workers to referrals to said physicians and clinics possessing expertise in CRPS.  If you have a work related injury and would like a FREE consultation (yes it is absolutely free), please call us today at 651-333-3636.  We represent injured workers across Minnesota and those injured while working for Minnesota employers across the country.  We have a team of professionals with unparallelled experience, most with literally decades of experience in workers compensation both as injured workers themselves.  At Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Office we are ready to assist you today.