Types and Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

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What are the different types of ComplexRegional Pain Syndrome?

There are two types of CRPS with similar clinical features but different causes.

  • Type 1 -

    Follows an illness or injury that did not directly injure the nerves in the affected limb. Nearly 90 percent of persons with complex regional pain syndrome have type 1, otherwise referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) syndrome

  • Type 2

    Occurs following a definitive evidence of nerve injury. The clinical features are similar to Type 1. This condition was earlier referred to as causalgia

What are the Symptoms and Signs ofComplex Regional Pain Syndrome?

  • Persistent burning or stabbing pain, usually affecting an arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Associated tingling sensation and numbness
  • Increased sensitivity to light touch or cold causing excessive pain (allodynia)
  • Increased perception of pain (hyperalgesia)
  • Swelling over the affected area
  • Skin discoloration
  • Alternating sensation of hot and cold over the affected limb
  • Excessive or reduced sweating over the area
  • Nail and hair growth is affected in the limb
  • Alterations in the texture of the skin
  • Joint pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Weakness of affected limb with muscle spasms and muscle wasting
  • Difficulty in moving the affected limb
  • Softening and fracture of bones in severe cases
  • Rarely, spread of symptoms from original site to opposite side as well
Symptoms and Signs of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

The range and severity of symptoms variesfrom person to person. In many cases, there may be improvement with time.However, in a few cases there is persistent pain with symptoms lasting foryears. Occurrence of skin and nail changes with muscle spasms and tighteningcould indicate advanced and irreversible stage of complex regional painsyndrome.

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