Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

What is RSD?

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) usually affects extremities such as the hands and/or feet with pain and wasting of tissues as its main symptoms. The illness is much more common than generally realized, and it may be a component of many other diseases.

RSD can be triggered by an injury such as a cut, sprain or fracture. Pain, even after the most severe injury, usually disappears within six weeks as part of the healing process.

However, the symptoms of RSD can develop days, weeks, or months after an injury. The prolonged (chronic) pain caused by RSD may be related to the inability of the sympathetic nervous system to shut down after an injury.

If diagnosed and treated early, RSD is curable. If undiagnosed and allowed to progress, RSD leads to permanent deformities, immobility of the limbs, and will spread to large segments of the body.

At an advanced stage of the illness, all patients have significant psychiatric problems and narcotic dependency, and are completely incapacitated by the disease. RSD does not significantly decrease a patient's life span, so patients face the existence of continuous severe pain.

My name is Ed Smith and I've successfully handled a number of these cases as a Sacramento Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Lawyer.

If you believe that you may be suffering from RSD as the result of an injury, I urge you to contact me online or call me at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400 if the call is long distance, to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

Treating RSD

Treatment of RSD is most effective when it is part of a comprehensive pain management program. This treatment will usually include psychological evaluations, physical therapy and pain medication.

Treatment of RSD requires an experienced team effort, especially between the anesthesiologist and psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatment may also include the overall coordination of the patient's care by a rehabilitation provider or nurse with expertise in the field of RSD.

Problems with RSD

RSD was first diagnosed over 100 years ago during the American Civil War. While it continues to be a major catastrophic disease resulting from injury, some physicians continue to question its existence, especially during the early stages when the disease presents no definitive physical evidence.

Unfortunately, the physician who fails to diagnose and initiate early treatment of RSD may foreclose a possible cure. No laboratory test presently exists to diagnose RSD in its early stages.

The early diagnosis depends on the ability of the physician to identify and piece together the many signs of RSD, which do not always follow the textbook description.

Furthermore, many health care centers lack a standardized approach to the diagnosis and treatment of RSD. Many patients find themselves going nowhere or going in circles their care. This can create problems for patients who are receiving Workers' Compensation benefits or pursuing personal injury claims.

If you think you have RSD from an accident related injury contact me online or call me 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

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