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Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome

Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

This occurs in a small percentage of patients as a result of an injury or surgery.

The symptoms of CRPS are variable and can consist of swelling of the affected limb or digit, stiffness, pain that is out of proportion to the original injury or surgery, mottling or colour change of the affected limb and a change in the manner in which the hair and nails grow.

The symptoms of CRPS can result in difficulty in use of the body part that is affected and can result in loss of function.

Type 1 CRPS is caused by an injury without nerve damage.

Type 2 CRPS is caused by the presence of underlying nerve damage and nerve compression.


Treatment for CRPS is usually most effective if immediate following diagnosis.

It is conducted in a multi-disciplinary environment and needs input from several professionals including a pain specialist and a specialist hand therapist.

The treatment of CRPS consists of effective pain medication, intensive and closely supervised hand therapy and at times the use of intra venous blocks into the affected limb.

In most cases, CRPS resolves to a significant extent with prompt and definitive treatment. However, there can be residual effects of CRPS especially in the form of stiffness, residual discomfort in the hand and some loss of function.

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I feel very, very good - I'm doing a lot of things that I never used to do and I'm very happy with my hands.


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