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    Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

    Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

    Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful condition of the nervous system involving one or more of the extremities. The condition typically is a result of trauma to a body part, such as a fracture, soft tissue injury, or surgery. Two subtypes of CRPS have been recognized: 

    • Type I (the form also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy) corresponds to patients with CRPS without evidence of peripheral nerve injury and represents approximately 90 percent of clinical presentations.
    • Type II was formerly termed “causalgia” and refers to cases in which peripheral nerve injury is present.

    Common signs and symptoms

    The most common symptoms are sharp, burning pain that can make it painful to even touch the skin of the affected area. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include loss of range of motion, color change, temperature change, change in hair and nail growth, swelling, and even muscle wasting of the limb.


    Treatment strategy starts with medication management and physical therapy. If this fails to improve the symptoms, then interventional procedures are the next steps. The interventional treatments include sympathetic nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and spinal cord stimulation or dorsal root ganglion stimulation. Dorsal root ganglion stimulation is an excellent option to discuss with Kansas Pain Management  who have not responded to less invasive interventions.