Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

After suffering an injury from an accident in San Antonio, the body may experience a wide variety of injuries that, while secondary to a primary injury, are no less painful and debilitating. One such phenomenon is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a medical condition of burning pain, stiffness, and discoloration of the hand. The umbrella of RSD often includes other medical diagnoses, such as causalgia, Sudeck’s atrophy, and shoulder-hand syndrome.

RSD occurs from a disturbance in the sympathetic (unconscious) nervous system that controls the blood flow and sweat glands in the hand and arm. When the nervous system becomes overactive, a burning pain may be felt, accompanied by swelling and warmth in the affected arm. If not treated, RSD can cause stiffness and loss of use in the affected part of the arm.

What Causes RSD?

The exact causes of RSD can be difficult to identify. An injury after a car wreck, a slip and fall, or some other kind of trauma can lead to RSD. Sometimes the symptoms appear after a surgical procedure. Other causes include pressure on a nerve, infection, cancer, neck disorders, stroke, or heart attack. Any of these conditions can cause pain, which sets off the sympathetic reflex causing RSD symptoms. Nerve injuries may change the way nerve impulses are sent, causing a “short circuit.”

Signs and Symptoms

The pain associated with reflex sympathetic dystrophy is often described as a burning in nature. The swelling involved can cause painful joints and stiffness.

The condition has three stages:

  • Stage 1: (Acute)
    The acute stage of RSD may last up to three months. During this stage the symptoms include pain and swelling, increased warmth in the affected part/limb, and excessive sweating. There may be faster-than-normal nail and hair growth and joint pain during movement of the affected area.
  • Stage 2: (Dystrophic)
    The dystrophic stage of RSD can last three to twelve months. Swelling is more constant, skin wrinkles disappear, skin temperature becomes cooler, and fingernails become brittle. The pain is more widespread and stiffness increases. The affected area may also become sensitive to touch.
  • Stage 3: (Atrophic)
    The atrophic stage of RSD occurs from one year and beyond in most cases. The skin of the affected area is now pale, dry, tightly stretched, and shiny. The area is stiff, pain may decrease, and there is increased risk of permanent loss of motion.

As the disease progresses, a number of other symptoms may arise. No two patients’ experiences with reflex sympathetic dystrophy are alike. Some patients may experience all of the symptoms listed above, while other may only experience a few. There are occasions when the symptoms may come and go or change in their severity. Factors such as medication, treatment, stress levels, and even the time of year can have an effect on how RSD presents itself.

San Antonio reflex sympathetic dystrophy cases occur more often than you think. If you live in San Antonio and have been in an accident and were injured or if you’ve had a surgical procedure performed and are now experiencing the conditions outlined above, you may be suffering from RSD. If this is the case, you’ll want to speak with a lawyer in San Antonio as the additional expenses you incur could also be considered as part of any settlement to which you’re entitled. An attorney experienced in RSD cases can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call the law offices of Carabin & Shaw to speak with a San Antonio reflex sympathetic dystrophy attorney today. Your initial consultation is free, and our attorneys don’t collect payment unless your case is won. Our team of specialist attorneys is dedicated to protecting your rights and making sure you don’t get taken advantage of. Our lawyers work hard on behalf of our clients and leave no issue unaddressed.

Feel free to call us day or night, and even on weekends to schedule an appointment. To start your free consultation, call the attorneys at our San Antonio location at 210.222.2288, or toll-free at 1.800.862.1260.

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