Complex regional pain syndrome


Editor’s Note:  Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) causes severe pain – 42 out of a possible 50 on the McGill University Pain Scale – which certainly affects quality of life. As reported by Cort Johnson, “people with long term CRPS typically score near the bottom of quality of life tests.”
It’s not unusual for CRPS and fibromyalgia to be misdiagnosed, confused and/or to occur together.  With November being CRPS Awareness Month, let’s review a recent study that highlights the importance of early recognition and diagnosis of CRPS.   
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a neurologic disorder that often results in debilitating chronic pain, but the diagnosis may elude providers as it is one of exclusion. A history of trauma may be elucidated. We report a case of CRPS and review the clinical findings, appropriate workup, and treatment options for the patient.
The patient we describe went through an extensive workup before receiving the correct diagnosis. Delay in diagnosis leads to prolonged suffering for the patient and, at times, unnecessary invasive debridement procedures.
Raising awareness of this entity may help physicians make the correct diagnosis early, as well as initiate a collaborative effort between neurology, anesthesiology, and dermatology to provide the patient the most favorable outcome.
Full text available here.
Source:  Carr ES, De La Cerda A, Fiala K. Complex regional pain syndrome. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2016 Jul; 29(3):333-4.

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