Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a condition in which nerve impulses are are sent to one site on the body, usually a limb or extremity, causing extreme pain, redness, swelling and changes in hair/nail growth and temperature of the affected site. Symptoms usually start near an injury and can spread throughout the affected limb and even to the opposing extremity.
1. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) – Type I
2. Causalgia – Type II
While CRPS is not well understood, RSD generally develops after a minor injury or bone fracture. Causalgia stems from a more serious injury to a major peripheral nerve. Both have also been known to develop after surgery. According to The McLarty Firm, attorneys in Dallas whose Mary Alice McLarty has handled lawsuits involving CRPS, patients often can’t remember the accident or event that spawned this debilitating condition.
CRPS cannot be diagnosed with one specific test. Instead, tests can be done to rule out other diagnoses. Diagnosis of CRPS is made by observation and can be especially hard early in the onset of the condition since specific symptoms may be mild or not readily obvious.
CRPS has no cure, so once the condition has been pinpointed, doctors use a variety of treatments and management tools to attempt to reduce the pain. Among the common treatments are physical and occupational therapy and treatment with a variety of drugs ranging from topical analgesics to prescription anti-depressants.