This blog previously discussed the legal issues related to workers suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Under Wisconsin law, there is a vast difference (in effect and value) for an injury to a worker's "body as a whole" (spine, head) versus a limb injury. CRPS can fall into either category-making it an extremely difficult issue in litigation.
A recent California case provided an interesting case study. While this case involved the use of AMA guides-which Wisconsin does not use-the medical discussion is interesting. Most notably, a section of the AMA guides indicated that "the pathology in CRPS is currently believed to occur in the central nervous system." A nervous system condition certainly looks like a systemic issue-a "body as a whole" condition.
If CRPS is viewed in that light in Wisconsin, it would open to the door to loss of earning capacity claims involving a CRPS diagnosis.