Practitioner 2011; 255 (1736):23-26

Early aggressive treatment improves prognosis in complex regional pain syndrome

23 Jan 2011Pais-up subscribers

The condition now named complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) has been recognised for many years, and known by many terms, although the adoption of the current taxonomy is recent. The condition typically starts with an injury to an extremity, which is often seemingly trivial, followed by immobilisation, such as an ankle sprain or Colles' fracture. However, instead of the expected resolution of symptoms, persistent pain and dysfunction develop. recent attention to its key features by international authorities should allow the diagnosis to be made with greater confidence by non-specialists. Management should be based upon general principles of neuropathic pain treatment, combined with aggressive physical rehabilitation. Many cases will resolve spontaneously, or with simple measures. For severe or resistant cases, early specialist intervention is indicated.

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