Unfortunately, there is no single test for diagnosing CRPS. It is often as much about discounting other conditions as the cause of each and every symptom as it is about positively diagnosing the symptoms of CRPS.
Medical imaging such as MRI scans and x-rays can discount an underlying structural cause and blood tests can help to eliminate causes such as infections and arthritis.
An anaesthetic block administered to the sympathetic nervous system can help to diagnose that as the cause.
“Your understanding of my condition was incredible. I immediately felt I was in safe hands and that proved to be so true.” TF, November 2016 [Damages: £370,000]
A physical examination can reveal changes to the skin, abnormal hair growth, changes to finger or toe nails and the presence of swelling. Some doctors are now using thermographic cameras to compare the heat between limbs and ultraviolet cameras to better see the mottling of the skin. Clearly, some of these changes are subtle and the use of technology in diagnosis is likely to become increasingly important.
Of course, the difficulty in diagnosing CRPS can invariably lead to delay. However, despite a growing awareness of CRPS among clinicians, that delay is often lengthy.
As leading CRPS Solicitors, the vast majority of our clients start their claims with other law firms before approaching us for more specialist representation. The reality is that it can often be between several months and two or three years before we are approached to take over conduct of the claim. With that in mind, we find it quite staggering at the number of our new clients who have either only recently received a diagnosis of CRPS or are still awaiting a formal diagnosis.
“What really stood out for me when we first spoke was your total concern for me and your interest in my condition. Thank you so much for steering me towards Dr _______. He has helped me so much.” HS, January 2017 [Damages: £405,000]
Although there is no specific test, for many years there have been diagnostic guidelines.
At their conference in 2004, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) adopted a new set of guidelines for diagnosing CRPS, superseding guidelines which had been in place for the previous decade. As the conference took place in Budapest, the new guidelines were named the Budapest Criteria. Further information about them can be found via this link.
Who are we?
We are leading specialist CRPS Solicitors. If you believe that your current solicitor lacks a thorough understanding of CRPS, or are otherwise unhappy with the conduct of your claim, please do not hesitate to contact us. You will speak direct to one of our specialist CRPS Solicitors and all calls are treated in the strictest confidence. Many clients say that picking up the phone to us was the best decision they ever made.