WHAT IS CRPS?

 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD), is a chronic neurologic syndrome characterized by severe pain, pathological changes in bone, nail, and hair patterns,  skin temperature and color change, changes in sweating, weakness and disability, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch.

 

CRPS is best described in terms of an injury to bone, nerve or soft tissue (e.g. fracture, surgery or crush injury) that does not follow the normal healing path, developing symptoms as above. Its development does not appear to depend on the magnitude of the injury.  CRPS is often associated with abnormal function in the sympathetic nervous system (the autonomic nervous system) after an injury.

 

Since there is no single laboratory test to diagnose CRPS, the physician must assess and document both subjective complaints (symptoms by medical history) and, if present, objective findings (physical examination). For more information, visit the RSDSA. 

 

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