Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

This condition is characterized by long standing pain in arm or leg. Mainly it develops after some traumatic injury, stroke or heart attack. It is quite an uncommon condition.

SymptomsCOMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN  Symptoms Treatment
  • Persistent burning or throbbing pain mostly on arms, hands, leg or foot
  • Cold or heat sensitivity
  • Sweaty and cold temperatures on skin fluctuate.
  • Skin colour changes from white to red or blue patches
  • Changes in the texture of skin
  • Changes in the growth of hairs or nails
  • Stiffness of joints, swelling and damage
  • Decrease mobility of body part which is affected

Exact cause is not known till now but it depends on different type of CRPS.

  • Type 1: This is the reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This usually occurs as a result of trauma or illness in a particular limb that is not directed against particular nerves. This is most common type.
  • Type 2 : It is known as causalgia. It occur after direct and distinct injury to the particular nerves
  • Some minor damages like heart attack, surgery, sprained ankle, infections can lead to CRPS.
  • Tissue wasting or atrophy of affected limb.
  • Contractures causing muscle tightening.

Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of patient. Other tests and investigations include :

  • Bone scan
  • Sweat production test
  • Bone X-rays
  • MRI

Treatment options include:

  • Prescription of some medications like pain killers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, bone loss medications, Sympathetic nerve-blocking medication, Intravenous ketamine.
  • Some therapies are also considered like heat therapy, topical analgesics, mirror therapy, physical or occupational therapy.
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