Trauma and Complex Regional Pain Syndromes

A Comprehensive Guide to the Literature for Personal Injury Lawyers

Publisher: Medifocus Legal
Publication Date: October 15, 2015
Number of Pages: 133

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic and often debilitating pain condition most often affecting one of the extremities following trauma to a limb. Although the pathophysiology of CRPS is poorly understood, it is thought to involve either an injury or a malfunction of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Two types of CRPS have been recognized that share the same clinical symptoms and treatments. CRPS-I, formerly called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) where the pain is not associated with an identifiable nerve injury and CRPS-II, formerly known as causalgia, where the pain can be traced to a nerve injury. The one common cardinal feature of both types of CRPS is severe pain that is disproportionate to the initial trauma or insult which, in many cases, can be minor. In addition to severe and unremitting pain that can lead to physical disabilities, people with CRPS are also prone to developing a variety of mental disorders such as depression, fear, and anxiety.

Litigating CRPS cases can be challenging because there is no single diagnostic test to confirm CRPS and the diagnosis is often based on the patient’s medical history and signs and symptoms. Distinguishing CRPS from other conditions that can cause similar symptoms is also challenging from a diagnostic perspective. Since many people with CRPS gradually improve over time, diagnosis may be more difficult later in the course of the disorder. Moreover, the treatment of CRPS is also challenging and is often protracted thereby leading to considerable claim expenses for both medical care and disability benefits. Treatment failure in CRPS is not uncommon and a subgroup of patients continue to experience severe, chronic pain that can cause functional impairment, absence from work, psychological disturbances, and a reduced quality of life.

Experienced trial lawyers have learned that one way to maximize their success with CRPS cases is to read the literature. A substantial body of literature has been published over the past 2 decades in well respected medical journals implicating trauma as the leading cause of CRPS and documenting the severe and often debilitating nature of the pain that frequently necessitates long-term ongoing treatment for people with CRPS. Finding the critical articles that can help attorneys support their claims in CRPS cases, however, can be a tricky and time-consuming process. Medifocus Legal has solved this problem by researching the medical literature and compiling a reference Guide of 149 hand-picked journal articles specifically for personal injury lawyers who litigate these often hard-fought CRPS cases.

Trauma and Complex Regional Pain Syndromes is a one-of-a-kind literature reference Guide that includes:

  • A comprehensive bibliography of 198 journal article references indexed in MEDLINE published in well respected medical and scientific journals.
  • Online access to the abstracts (summaries) of the articles.
  • Online access to the free full-text version of 14 articles.
  • Links to full-text sources of other articles that are available for purchase directly from individual journal publishers.
  • A unique “Author Directory” consisting of the names and institutional affiliations of experts who have published and have specialized knowledge about Trauma and Complex Regional Pain Syndromes . The “Author Directory” is a valuable resource for quickly identifying and locating experts for case reviews, opinions, and testimony.

Select examples of topics that are covered by the articles referenced in this Guidebook include:

  • Current theories about the pathophysiology of CRPS.
  • Diagnostic testing for CRPS.
  • Symptom validity testing in medically unexplained pain.
  • Standard treatments and the treatment options for CRPS.
  • The role of minor trauma in precipitating CRPS.
  • Neurological findings in patients with CRPS.
  • Psychological dysfunction in patients with CRPS.
  • Prognosis and outcome for CRPS.
  • Health-related quality of life in people with CRPS.
  • Relationships between psychological factors, pain, and disability in CRPS.
  • Factitious disorders encountered in patients with the diagnosis of CRPS.
  • Measuring perceived activity limitations in CRPS.
  • Relationship between impairments, disability and handicap in CRPS.
  • Rehabilitation of patients with CRPS.
  • Lawsuit verdicts and settlements in CRPS.
The MediFocus Literature Guide on Trauma and Complex Regional Pain Syndromes
is available in two formats:

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