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CRPS is one of the least understood catastrophic injuries

Accident victims in New York can suffer any of an endless list of injuries, some of which could be life altering. These are typically called catastrophic injuries, and they include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The latter is an injury type that is not well understood by doctors or victims, nor do they get much sympathy from others because, as the name indicates, it involves pain that can be felt but not seen.

CRPS usually follows an injury to an arm, leg, foot or hand, but could be triggered by a heart attack, infection, stroke, nerve pressure or cancer. The primary symptom is intense, chronic pain along with any of a long list of other symptoms. These could include swelling and constant throbbing, burning pain. There could be a sensitivity to cold or touch, and the skin could appear blue, mottled, red or white, or it could seem shiny and thin. Skin temperature can vary between cold and sweaty, and there could be muscle spasms and feelings of weakness, along with joint swelling and stiffness.

CRPS could present in strange ways -- the affected and healthy limbs may have different temperatures with one feeling hot and sweaty while the other one is cold. Also, the chronic pain could be experienced in the opposite limb and not the injured one. Symptoms get more severe as CRPS progresses, with the first three months of swelling and joint stiffness, followed by the next nine months of longer lasting swelling, more widespread pain, and more stiffness in the joints. After about one year, the skin could become pale, shiny and stretched, with lessened pain but more severe stiffness that might become permanent and debilitating.

Because this condition is so misunderstood, securing financial relief can be challenging if the negligence of another party caused the initial injury that triggered CRPS. New York victims of this syndrome might be best served by a personal injury attorney who understands the level of suffering and has experience in fighting for fair compensation for victims of catastrophic injuries like CRPS. With such support and guidance, recovery of past and future financial and emotional damages might be secured.

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