Chronic Pain: Rare Condition Ends Promising Career


Chronic Pain: Rare Condition Ends Promising Career

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Chronic Pain Lawyer. While a significant amount of attention is paid to common medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and strokes, rare conditions can turn people’s lives upside down. Such was the case of a young lawyer who was given a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which led to the loss of both of her legs.

It Started as a Scratch

This young 23-year old woman had recently completed law school and passed the bar, an impressive accomplishment unto itself. She was excited about beginning her law career until she suffered a scratch back in 2003. This scratch came as the result of a fall down some concrete stairs at her place of work which didn’t lead to any bone fractures at all. She didn’t think much of it, as it was only a scratch; however, this scratch would be the beginning of an excruciating journey. After completing the drive home, she was shocked to see that her leg had grown to three times its normal size despite the minor nature of the extremity trauma. Although she took some medications to relieve the swelling, she remained in agonizing pain and the swelling persisted.

The Pain Would Not Stop

For a year, she saw multiple medical specialists to address the pain that she was experiencing. A pain specialist finally diagnosed her at the end of this year with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as a result of the fall. The pain was so severe that the young woman was contemplating suicide, particularly after she woke up one day to see that maggots were feasting on her leg. After battling the condition for over three years, the leg was amputated.

The Other Leg was Next

In 2014, CRPS returned. This time in the other leg. The condition developed after a battle with swine flu that she contracted on vacation. This time, not only would the left leg need to be amputated but the nerves in the remnants of her leg were too sensitive to pain to handle prosthetics. She would be forced to move around without the help of prosthetic aids.

The Payout Was Hardly Enough

While she continued to fight the condition and to find a purpose in life, she was awarded over 2 million euros as a result of her accident at work; however, most of this money went to paying for medical bills that had piled up as a result of all of her doctors’ visit, surgical procedure, medical equipment needs, and medications. Furthermore, this is a condition which this young lady will have to live with for the rest of her life. The chronic pain that she lives with has led to her requiring over fifty different analgesics for pain relief and pain management each day for pain that is intractable at best.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a Debilitating Condition

This woman’s story is an example of rare medical conditions that can be triggered by the slightest of accidents. This tragic story stated with a simple fall down some stairs. The damage to her nerves started in one leg and spread to the other. Despite the advances in modern medicine, there is still a significant amount of research to be done. CRPS is a rare condition almost always starting from an innocuous injury. It leaves the patient suffering a variety of debilitating sensations that can cause an immense amount of psychological trauma similar to PTSD and emotional distress. While usually impacting only one limb, it can impact more than one in rare cases. People never know what kind of traumatic injuries will lead to lifelong comorbidities.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Chronic Pain Lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident due to someone’s negligence, please call me right away at(916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. Or, my practice also has a toll-free line available at (800) 404-5400.

I am a part of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group includes many of the top-rated trial lawyers in the country. Every member in our group has million-dollar verdicts for prior clients.

Please take some time to view my verdicts and settlements page.

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Image Attribution: By Carapp – [Own work], CC BY-SA 3.0,

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