James P. Howe

     Attorney At  Law   

36 South County Commons Way C6     

Wakefield, RI 02879    
(401) 788-0600    





















       Rhode Island Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy  - RSD


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) usually affects extremities such as the hands, feet, with pain and wasting of tissues as its main symptoms. The illness is much more common than generally realized, and it may be a component of many other diseases. RSD can be triggered by an injury such as a cut, sprain or fracture. Pain, even after the most severe injury, usually disappears within six weeks as part of the healing process. However, the symptoms of RSD can develop days, weeks, or months after an injury. The prolonged (chronic) pain caused by RSD may be related to the inability of the sympathetic nervous system to shut down after an injury.

If diagnosed and treated early, RSD is curable. If undiagnosed and allowed to progress, RSD leads to permanent deformities, immobility of the limbs, and will spread to large segments of the body. At an advanced stage of the illness, all patients have significant psychiatric problems and narcotic dependency, and are completely incapacitated by the disease. RSD does not significantly decrease a patient's life span, so patients fact the existence of continuous sever pain.

If you believe that you may be suffering from RSD as the result of an injury, we urge you to call us at 1-401-788-0600 to discuss your legal rights.

Treating RSD

Treatment of RSD is most effective when it is part of a comprehensive pain management program. This treatment will usually include psychological evaluations, physical therapy and pain medication. Treatment of RSD requires an experienced team effort, especially between the anesthesiologist and psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatment may also include the overall coordination of the patient's care by a rehabilitation provider or nurse with expertise in the field of RSD.

Problems with RSD

RSD was first diagnosed over 100 years ago during the American Civil War. While it continues to be a major catastrophic disease resulting from injury, some physicians continue to question its existence, especially during the early stages when the disease presents no definitive physical evidence. Unfortunately, the physician who fails to diagnose and initiate early treatment of RSD may foreclose a possible cure. No laboratory test presently exists to diagnose RSD in its early stages. The early diagnosis depends on the ability of the physician to identify and piece together the many signs of RSD, which do not always follow the textbook description.

Furthermore, many health care centers lack a standardized approach to the diagnosis and treatment of RSD. Many patients find themselves going nowhere or going in circles their care. This can create problems for patients who are receiving Workers' Compensation benefits or pursuing personal injury claims.


Contact us today by Email or call us today at  (401) 788-0600 to speak with someone from our  firm..



James P. Howe Law Offices
36 South County Commons Way C6, Wakefield RI 02879
Phone : (401) 788-0600   Fax: (401) 788-0605

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