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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is a malfunction of the nerves and nervous system that can cause severe pain, swelling, loss of range of motion, temperature changes, and changes in the skin.  CRPS is a severely disabling condition that usually affects the limbs, after injury, surgery or stroke.  

A diagnosis is made based on excluding other causes, a thorough history and physical exam, nerve conduction studies, and imaging studies (Bone scan, X-ray, CT, MRI).  The exact cause of CRPS is unknown. It may be a disorder of the immune system that affects the nervous system, producing inflammation of the nerves that control blood flow, sensation, and temperature. 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatments

CRPS treatment is most effective when started early and focuses on retaining range of motion, slowing the progression of the disease, and helping cope with the pain and lead as healthy lives as possible.  Medication, psychological support, injections, nerve blocks, spinal cord/nerve stimulators, and surgery may be part of your treatment.

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