Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Sites

  • Can occur anywhere, though typically in an extremity (leg > arm)

Etiology

  • Chronic neuropathic pain syndrome, typically related to trauma/injury/surgery
  • Inciting event can be relatively minor or significant
  • Thought to be related to PNS or CNS dysfunctional pain processing

Risk Factors

  • Women > men
  • Peak age 40
  • Injury, fracture, trauma, surgery

Symptoms

  • Persistent (> 6m), severe and often progressive pain
  • Very debilitating
  • Neuropathic quality to pain: burning, pins/needles; often deep

Physical Exam Findings

  • Local swelling
  • Affected area can appear red, mottled or otherwise discolored
  • Abnormal temperature (cool or warm)
  • Abnormal hair distribution (excess or limited)
  • Abnormal nail growth
  • Often very painful to even light touch