When it comes to catastrophic car crashes or workplace injuries, people often think of broken bones as less severe injuries. While a broken bone may impact your life less than a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury, it doesn't mean that the consequences of a broken bone are negligible.
Even a simple fracture can leave you with months of recovery time when you are unable to work. Fractures in young children could cause growth plate issues, which could result in the slowing or termination of the growth process in that particular limb.
In adults, it is possible that a broken bone can lead to a permanent autonomous nervous system-related disorder that can cause chronic pain and impair the ability to work or even to care for oneself.
Broken bones and other trauma can lead to CRPS
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) was formerly called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). This relatively rare condition occurs most commonly in parts of the body subject to trauma. Broken bones are one example. Blunt force trauma and surgery are others. In some cases, the development of this condition is also spontaneous.
CRPS is a serious and progressive condition that affects the limbs or extremities. Typically, it involves pain that worsens while the initial injury heals. The injury may be related to pain and other symptoms that will continue to impact you for the rest of your life. CRPS does not have a cure, although there may be some treatments that relieve some of the symptoms.
The pain associated with CRPS can be debilitating. In addition to this deep and chronic pain, other symptoms may include:
- Inflammation or swelling of the affected area
- Spasms in the muscles or vascular system in the affected area
- Changes in hair or nail growth
- Changes in skin color
- Excessive sweating on the affected area
- Discrepancy in temperature compared with the opposite limb
In most cases, symptoms progress and worsen over time.
CRPS can keep you from continuing your career
Developing a serious condition like CRPS can affect your life in many ways. First of all, you will have to deal with the ongoing pain and symptoms related to the condition. Beyond that, there is the impact of the condition on your daily life. As it affects strength and dexterity, it may prevent you from returning to work, especially if you work in a physical labor career.
In severe cases, it can even prevent you from performing forms of self-care, such as changing your clothes or cooking a meal. You can incur substantial expenses as a result, from both lost wages and medical costs, possibly including nursing care in your home.
For those who suffered a broken bone in a car accident caused by someone else, it may be possible recover the financial losses associated with CRPS.