CRPS can sometimes occur after medical treatment. The person concerned did not have CRPS before the treatment, but quickly developed CRPS after the treatment had taken place. It is not uncommon for CRPS to be triggered by an operation or by some other invasive procedure. It doesn’t take much for CRPS to develop in some unlucky people.

This can be all the more distressing when a person goes in to hospital for what should be a fairly routine operation but comes out of it in a much worse condition than before. The operation itself may have gone according to plan, but one of the side effects is the development of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or some other chronic pain condition.

Was an Operation Really Necessary?

Some people might ask “Was it worth having the operation? I’m worse off now than I was before!”

This raises a very important legal question. Is a hospital or doctor likely to be negligent if a patient develops CRPS after medical treatment? The answer is usually linked to how necessary it was to have had the operation in the first place. It is well recognised that CRPS is a known risk of surgery even though most people will never have heard of the condition.

Until fairly recently, it was very difficult to win a medical negligence case and obtain compensation when a person was left with CRPS after an operation. The CRPS was treated as being a very unfortunate but known risk of surgery. It was “just one of those things” that couldn’t be avoided.

Claiming Compensation After Medical Treatment

The good news is that in the last couple of years the legal position has changed dramatically in favour of the patient. As a result of the Montgomery case, the law now says that before any medical procedure takes place, two very important things must happen. They are:

  • Doctors must make sure that the patient is fully aware of the risk of complications such as CRPS. Putting it on a checklist without discussing it properly is no longer good enough.
  • Doctors must  consider and discuss with the patient the fact that other types of treatment might be available. A lot of them carry no long term risks and should be tried first. These are usually things that don’t involve an operation. Sometimes physio’; orthotics; injections; different types of painkillers; alternative remedies; etc are well worth a try. An operation should be a last resort, not a first resort.

The legal position is now very clear. It is the patient who should make the decisions about treatment, and not the doctors. This can only happen if and when the doctor has had a full and meaningful discussion with the patient about all of the possible types of treatment to try, and has properly explained the risks and benefits of each one.

If you have been diagnosed with CRPS after medical treatment please get in touch for further advice. It is confidential and free.

We are here to help if we can.

Contact Peter Bayliss

Photos of Peter Baylis - Dedicated CRPS SolicitorPeter Bayliss is a dedicated CRPS solicitor.

To find out if Peter can help you please use the following contact details: –

  • Phone: 0845 838 5565
  • Email:

You can claim a free, no obligation consultation to simply discuss your situation.