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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Injuries

Our Michigan personal injury lawyers frequently represent clients suffering from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy injuries, also commonly known as RSD.  Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, also called "causalgia" and "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" (CRPS), is a chronic pain condition thought to be caused by dysfunction of the nervous system. Civil War veterans were the first to report reflex sympathetic dystrophy symptoms, which included intense sharp pain at the site of long-healed wounds.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Causes

In many cases, it is unclear to doctors why a patient has developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Injury, which involves damage to the tissues, is often a primary culprit to the subsequent development of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Traumatic injuries can result from car accidents, work-related injuries, acts of violence, falls, and more. Symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy may also appear after surgery. Pressure on the neck nerves, cancer, infection, neck disorders, heart attack, and stroke are other possible causes of reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Symptoms

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy symptoms can affect the hands, arms, legs, or feet, often where an injury has occurred in the past. Patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy typically experience at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Burning pain 
  • Swelling, which can cause joint pain and stiffness 
  • Tenderness 
  • Increase in skin sensitivity 
  • Changes in skin temperature 
  • Changes in skin texture (shiny and thinner) 
  • Changes in skin color (typically blotchy, pale, red, or purple) 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Increase in nail and/or hair growth 
  • Decreased movement in the affected parts 
  • The spreading of pain

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy symptoms can vary in duration and severity. There are three stages of this condition, which often means a progression and advancement of the condition.  The most severe conditions can result in the "death" of the limb.  Treatment methods include medication, physical therapy, and surgery.

If you suffered Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in an accident or due to medical malpractice, you should contact our firm immediately.

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