Peer Reviewed
Case studies

A young woman with complex regional pain syndrome

Michael Veltman, Michael Vagg
The care of a patient with complex regional pain syndrome of several years’ duration and clear dystrophic changes in one leg is discussed from the pain medicine and rehabilitation medicine perspectives.
Key Points
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is poorly understood and is diagnosed clinically using the Budapest criteria.
  • It involves the nervous system, microcirculation and bone and also inflammatory pathways, and there are differing degrees of central sensitisation, cortical sensorimotor changes and sympathetic autonomic changes.
  • Medications alone (analgesics and anti-inflammatories) are unlikely to provide effective treatment. Also required are physiotherapy, exercise programs, self-management training, psychological assessment and patient education.
  • Multidisciplinary rehabilitation plans should be developed for patients with CPRS.

    Picture credit: © Dan Race/Dollar Photo Club. Models used for illustrative purposes only.

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