Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a chronic pain disorder that can occur as a result of an injury that damages the nerves and leads to severe pain and muscle damage in an arm or leg. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this condition after an injury at work, an experienced RSD attorney may be able to help you.
Understanding Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Over the past few years, an increasing number of workers have experienced RSD. This condition arises when an injury such as a fracture, sprain, or nerve damage results in chronic pain in an arm or leg. It can also be caused by a minor injury such as a fall or sprain. The symptoms of RSD can occur days, weeks, or even months after the initial injury. Over time, RDS can cause severe pain to radiate throughout your body, making it difficult or impossible for you to continue working.
There are two subcategories of RSD:
- Type I: In this category of RSD, there is no specific underlying nerve injury.
- Type II: In this category of RSD, there is major nerve damage at the outset of the condition.
When diagnosed early enough, RSD can be cured. If it is not diagnosed quickly and symptoms worsen, RSD can cause immobility of the limbs, permanent deformities, and may even spread to large areas of the body. In an advanced stage of the illness, many patients also suffer psychological problems and pain medication dependency.
Workers’ Compensation for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic pain condition like RSD due to an injury at work, or you already had the condition but it worsened after you performed work duties, you can make a claim for workers’ compensation. You must retain documentation of all your medical tests and histories for your workers’ comp application.
Depending on the circumstances of your chronic pain condition, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability payments, which are based on a percentage of your legal disability, taking into account the severity of your injury and your work restrictions. If the condition has caused you to become permanently disabled and unable to work, you may be entitled to permanent total disability, which provides weekly payments for life.
If you or a loved one is currently suffering from a chronic pain condition that was caused or aggravated by a work-related injury, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys at 401-946-3200, or complete our online form for a free consultation. Let us share our specialized knowledge of RSD and help you fight for the rights you deserve.