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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, referred to here after as CRPS, was previously called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Causalgia. Previously thought to occur in the 40-60 year age group, CRPS is also more frequently being diagnosed in the young adult population and even children. CRPS can occur in either gender, but is more commonly seen in females. CRPS cause pain in a regional distribution (usually in an arm or leg), and by definition cannot be limited to a single peripheral nerve territory. The following diagnostic criteria must be satisfied to diagnose CRPS: exaggerated regional pain, skin changes in the affected area, presence of inciting event, and all other possible etiologies that could account for the pain have been ruled out. Causes of CRPS are unknown, but any trauma or injury (no correlation with the severity of the injury) can be a trigger. The pain associated with CRPS is describes as electrical, burning, pins, and needles. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to successful rehabilitation.

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