Given the severe and sometimes deadly injuries that people can suffer in car crashes, breaking a bone might seem like a stroke of luck. If all you have to do is have your arm or your leg in a cast for six to eight weeks, you may feel like you were fortunate given the speed of the vehicles involved or the extent of the damage your vehicle sustained in the wreck.
Most people will recover fully after a broken bone. As the bone heals, their pain symptoms will decrease. Strength and range of motion will improve once the immobilization of the affected body part ends.
In a tiny percentage of fractures, instead of healing properly, the broken bone will instead cause a potentially life-altering nerve issue.
When the body heals wrong, people suffer
Medical experts are still not fully sure why some people develop complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) after a traumatic injury. While it is rare, people who have broken bones will sometimes develop nerve issues because of the injury.
CRPS involves worsening or new pain after the bone itself heals. Some people report the sensation as a deep, burning or tingling pain. Changes to the texture or appearance of skin, hair and nails near the affected body part are another warning sign of CRPS. You may even notice a change in temperature when you compare it with the same part of your body on the other side.
CRPS often causes lasting physical limitations as it creates not just physical pain but also reduces someone’s strength and range of motion. If you work in a physically demanding profession, you may eventually find yourself unable to do your job at all because of your increasingly severe symptoms.
There is no cure for CRPS
Unfortunately for those diagnosed with this progressive condition, there is no cure or even any treatment that is fully successful at eliminating painful symptoms. Those with CRPS may have to adjust to ongoing medical expenses, reductions in income and a change in their overall quality of life because of pain and functional limitations.
Learning about when car crash injuries might be more severe than you initially think can help you better handle the compensation claims you make after the crash.