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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (CRPS) -- Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome



Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a severe and debilitating condition that occurs when the nerves in the leg "go haywire." The syndrome is at times known by different names, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

The condition can develop following any small or insignificant traumatic injury such as a slip and fall. Of course other types of foot, ankle, or leg trauma or surgery can ignite this complication. The exact cause is still unknown.

Early and aggressive treatment (usually before the three-month period) can result in complete remission of the symptoms. However, if the diagnosis is not promptly made (i.e., within three months), or if it is not treated in a timely manner, then the reflex sympathetic dystrophy can become severe and debilitating to such a degree that stage III disease can evolve into permanent disability.

It is not medical negligence to develop Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy following injury, surgery, or other medical treatment. However, failure to timely diagnosis RSDS (within the three month period), failure to refer to a Neurologist or a Pain Clinic, or failure to properly treat the condition may in certain instances constitute medical negligence.

WARNING: There have been cases reported where some practitioners have used the diagnosis of RSDS solely for the ease of diagnosis and for reimbursement purposes, when the patient did not, in fact, have RSDS. Such action may in certain circumstances constitute medical negligence or even medical fraud.

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