Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD)

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is a devastating disease that causes intense, chronic pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet. Sometimes called “causalgia” or reflex neurovascular disorder (RND), CRPS often develops without warning in patients who have suffered an injury.

Those who suffer from CRPS may experience severe pain that makes it difficult to work. And benefits programs like Social Security and Workers’ Compensation are designed to help disabled workers suffering from CRPS cover their medical bills and living expenses. But the intensity and regularity of the pain caused by CRPS can vary throughout the day, week, month, or year, and proving the disability can be difficult without thorough medical evidence.

At Fields Law Firm, our RSD attorneys know it can be frustrating to deal with red tape and paperwork when you’re suffering and in severe pain. Let us take the stress off your shoulders so you can focus on getting better. Call us at 1-888-343-5375 anytime of the day or night, or fill out our free form today. We’ll help you gather medical records and supporting documentation to prove your condition, apply for Social Security and workers’ compensation benefits, or file an appeal if your claim has been denied.

Client Success Story

Our team represented a woman who injured her ankle while working as a gas station clerk. The woman developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and required extensive medical treatment to moderate her symptoms.

Unfortunately, the woman’s doctors found her permanently and totally disabled, unable to ever return to work. We worked with her doctors to make her employer pay for her necessary medical treatment and to compensate her for becoming permanently and totally disabled as a result of her work injury at the gas station.

Our team fought the employer and insurer to obtain a settlement of over $200,000 and to ensure that they continued to pay for her ongoing medical treatment related to the work injury.

CRPS Misdiagnoses

CRPS is often difficult to diagnose. Many people suffering from CRPS see several doctors before they get a correct diagnosis. There is no definitive test for CRPS; however, there are common symptoms that a doctor familiar with the disorder will be able to identify. Treatment consists of medication, physical therapy, and non-invasive surgeries, but is often ineffective.

Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys in Minnesota have years of experience working with clients who suffer from CRPS. We understand how to properly document the symptoms, conditions, and expenses that can be part of CRPS, including:

  • Ongoing medical treatment
  • Psychological issues, such as depression, caused by constant pain
  • Difficulty working while on powerful pain medications

Fields Law can help you get the right documentation to prove that you have CRPS and are unable to work or are restricted in what type of work you can perform. Call us and speak to a RSD lawyer who will answer your questions and guide you through your next steps. There are never any fees unless we get compensation for you. The call is free, the advice is free, and we’re here to help.

What is RSD?

RSD or “reflex sympathetic dystrophy” is also referred to as “causalgia” or “erythomelalgia.” RSD (reflex sympathetic disorder) is considered by most experts to be the older terminology for CRPS or complex regional pain syndrome. It is associated with intense chronic pain that typically affects the arms, legs, hands, or feet. The term “RSD” was coined in 1946 by Dr. James Evans.

Causalgia was first noted in the U.S. during the civil war, when soldiers with gunshot wounds would experience burning sensations in extremities that were not at the site of the actual wound. They typically recommended amputation in these cases. The earliest cases noted by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, a neurologist during the American Civil War, involved injury to major peripheral nerves. “When Pain Remains,” Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker, October 10, 2005 Issue.

RSD is often misdiagnosed due to the complexity of symptoms and lack of doctors familiar with treating RSD patients. The cause of RSD is still not fully understood. However, many sources state that nerve trauma or traumatic injury have been the most historically common causes for RSD/CRPS. Several sources also note that venipuncture, where a vein is punctured for a blood draw or IV tube, can cause a second type of RSD.

RSD/CRPS is also one of the most difficult disorders to correctly diagnose and many people suffering from RSD/CRPS end up seeing several doctors before they get a correct diagnosis. There is not a definitive test for RSD/CRPS, however there are certain common symptoms that have been identified so that a diagnosis can be made by a doctor who is familiar with the disorder.

Some of the common RSD symptoms include: burning pain in the affected limb, intolerance to heat or cold, temperature changes in the affected area, color changes, skin changes (skin appears “shinier”), hair growth is diminished, it can be difficult to move the affected body part and people with RSD/CRPS develop a “touch-me-not” attitude to the affected area. Typically a neurologist will make a diagnosis of RSD/CRPS and then refer the patient to an expert who specializes in the RSD/CRPS for confirmation of the diagnosis and treatment with a chronic pain specialist.

The prognosis for people suffering from RSD/CRPS and disability varies for each individual. People with RSD/CRPS can have symptoms that vary throughout the day, week, month or year. It is said by persons with RSD/CRPS that “it has a mind of its own”. Certain people can have unbearable pain and disabling symptoms in spite of treatment.

There are many alternative treatment options available to patients with RSD/CRPS due to today’s modern medicine. However, that treatment can be expensive. It can include such things as injections, medial branch blocks, medications and spinal cord stimulators. This is why you need to make sure you are getting all the benefits available to you under the workers’ compensation and disability laws.

How can I prove RSD/CRPS was caused by work?

A Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney at Fields Law Firm can help guide you through the process of getting the right documentation to prove that you have RSD/CRPS and are unable to work or have work restrictions. We have years of experience working with clients that suffer from RSD/CRPS. Many had difficulty receiving a proper diagnosis and continued to suffer as they went from doctor to doctor while their symptoms got worse. We can help.

We understand RSD and complex regional pain syndrome, how to properly document the symptoms and the different issues that can be part of a case including: ongoing medical treatment, psychological issues including depression which is caused by constant pain and the difficulty in working while you are either in excruciating pain or on powerful pain medications.

When to Hire an RSD Lawyer

If you are unable to work because of RSD/CRPS our Social Security Disability lawyers can also help you apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Our RSD lawyers will assist you in getting the medical records and supporting documentation you need to provide the evidence of your RSD/CRPS disability. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, our Workers’ Compensation attorneys in MN can file a claim on your case.

We offer a free case review. Our Minnesota attorneys understand how frustrating it is to suffer from the excruciating pain of RSD/CRPS and be denied workers’ compensation benefits when you are prevented from working. There are never any fees unless we win your case. We have a proven track record working with clients suffering from RSD/CRPS. Please call Fields Law at your earliest convenience to find out how we can help with your case.



John Kelley
John Kelley
21:38 16 Oct 18
I was having issues with an insurance company and I hired fields law firm. The people there are amazing and always quick to answer questions even a couple times on the weekend. I worked with Blake amazing person and very informative on my case. I would highly recommend this firm to any of my friends.read more
Michael Frazier
Michael Frazier
23:58 10 Oct 18
I had the pleasure to work with Michael and Annie on my LTD case. When my claim was denied by the insurance carrier, Michael didn't hesitate to take them on with an appeal. He worked diligently on the appeal and ultimately won this for me. Mind you, this wasn't a huge case but he treated me like it was and as if I was the only case he was representing. He kept me abreast of vital information, it was clear that he knew his stuff and wasn't afraid to take on the big insurance company. Michael was much more than I ever expected given that our relationship was entirely remote, handled by telephone and email only. Not only is he a strong lawyer, he treated me with compassion and respect. I am beyond pleased with him and the Fields Law team. Michael cares about his clients and he gets the job done for them because he knows how impactful an injury can be to both a person's well-being and their financial security. I highly recommend Michael and Fields Law whether you are local to their Minnesota offices or out of state like myself.read more
Melanie Eason
Melanie Eason
20:12 29 Aug 18
Fields Law Firm is great. Patrick Kramer, my lawyer, is fantastic. He and his legal assistant Samantha K. have handled my case for several years. They have kept me informed every step of the way. They are both easy to contact. I have both of their phone numbers and email addresses and they respond promptly to any messages I leave. Without their help I would not have been able to get the disability company to fulfill their promises. It is a relief to leave all the dealings with the disability insurance company in their hands.read more
Jeannie Kerr
Jeannie Kerr
23:37 15 Sep 18
My experience with Merrick Williams of Fields Law Firm has been truly above and beyond satisfactory. His knowledge and professionalism have guided me through a very difficult time. He and his assistant Angela were readily available to answer any questions and address my concerns. I highly recommend him as an attorney and will use his services again if necessary in the future.read more
ebon jordan
ebon jordan
19:51 27 Sep 18
Field Law Firm was great my lawyer Zach Schmoll was more than I could ask for. He always kept me in the loop and explain everything perfectly, got back to me whenever I called less than 24 hrs and was a extremely nice guy. This guy is young and knows what he is doing so please don’t let the age fool you. I had a wonderful experience with Field Law and will refer anyone with legal matters to them.read more
Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson
23:11 31 Oct 18
I highly recommend Fields law Firm if you need some no nonsense attorneys to represent you. I was treated courteously and efficiently each and every time by Mike and his associates. They settled my Long Term Disability case in a timely fashion. and was pleased with the results. Thanks again Mike and Fields Law Firm. You are the best!read more
19:19 09 Nov 18
Fields Law Firm is simply the very best when it comes to representing you & fighting for your rights! They are a "10 Star" Law Firm hands down! Michael Kemmmitt & Sarah Christensen were simply outstanding to work with. They took over my long term disability case after I was being denied my benefits & gave me the moral support & law experience that I needed to win my case. They were supportive throughout my case & they will fight tooth & nail to assure your rights are not being denied. It is so rare to find a law firm that treats you like YOU are the most important person to them. I HIGHLY recommend Fields Law Firm. They are truly advocates for justice.read more
Ben Chadwick
Ben Chadwick
23:20 12 Nov 18
Michael and Samantha were always giving me updates in a very timely manner. They were very good at getting back with me if I had questions, and they didn't have the answer at the time of our discussion. They were very thorough in their handling of my case, and we received a positvie ruling due to their efficiency and expertise. Thank you very much Michael and Samantha, I appreciate all that you did to help me with my case. I would definitely refer people to you, as well as use you in the future. Benjamin Chadwick.read more
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