CRPS

What is CRPS?

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

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Stop the Burn!

 

What is RSD/CRPS?

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD) - also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) - is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by:

  • severe burning pain
  • pathological changes in bone and skin
  • excessive sweating
  • tissue swelling
  • extreme sensitivity to touch

There are Two Types of CRPS - Type I and Type II.

  • CRPS Type I (also referred to as RSD) - cases in which the nerve injury cannot be immediately identified
  • CRPS Type II (also referred to as Causalgia) - cases in which a distinct "major" nerve injury has occurred
  • RSD/CRPS is best described in terms of an injury to a nerve or soft tissue (e.g. broken bone) that does not follow the normal healing path
  • RSD/CRPS development does not appear to depend on the magnitude of the injury. The sympathetic nervous system seems to assume an abnormal function after an injury
  • Since there is no single laboratory test to diagnose RSD/CRPS, the physician must assess and document both subjective complaints (medical history) and, if present, objective findings (physical examination).

 


Criteria for Diagnosing

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I (RSD)

  • The presence of an initiating noxious event, or a cause of immobilization
  • Continuing pain, allodynia, or hyperalgesia with which the pain is disproportionate to any inciting event
  • Evidence at some time of edema, changes in skin blood flow (skin color changes, skin temperature changes more than 1.1°C difference from the homologous body part), or abnormal sudomotor activity in the region of the pain
  • This diagnosis is excluded by the existence of conditions that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (Causalgia)

  • The presence of continuing pain, allodynia, or hyperalgesia after a nerve injury, not necessarily limited to the distribution of the injured nerve
  • Evidence at some time of edema, changes in skin blood flow (skin color changes, skin temperature changes more than 1.1°C difference from the homologous body part), or abnormal sudomotor activity in the region of pain
  • This diagnosis is excluded by the existence of conditions that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction.

 

How I got CRPS/RSD

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