Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as regional pain syndrome, is a constellation of symptoms usually involving extremities. The hallmark of the condition is pain and inflammation that may progress to complete loss of function of the limb. It may be caused by a minor injury like an ankle twist or a more severe one like bone fractures. Surgery, nerve injury, burns, and intramuscular injection have all been implicated with this condition. The initial injury may be so small that it goes unnoticed by the patients. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome could be difficult to diagnose and may go unrecognized until evaluated by the trained specialist. At times, it is confused with early infection and time is wasted with antibiotic therapy. Symptoms are exaggerated in relation to the suspected injury. Therapy can be equally challenging for this. Tricyclic antidepressants and anti-neuropathics are among the initial medications used. To help with diagnosis, sympathetic blockade injections (neck or back) are given. If injections are effective, it helps in supporting the diagnosis. If pain is difficult to control and medications and injections have failed to help, then further therapy may include spinal cord stimulator and intrathecal pumps.
South Lake Pain Institute is currently conducting clinical trials to help find a cure for CRPS.