Painful Health Conditions: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful condition of a person’s arm, hand, leg or foot, which occurs after an injury, such as a fracture. Rarely, CRPS can affect other body parts, such as the face.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may last months or years. We do not know the cause of CRPS, but treatment aims to relieve symptoms and restore limb function (movement and activity). Most people recover fully, but the condition can recur and for a small group of people with CRPS, symptoms may be severe and persist for years. CRPS used to be known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
Females are three times more likely to be affected than males. In adults, the most commonly affected limb is the arm. In children, it is the leg. CRPS affects people in different ways and one person’s response to treatment will be different from another person’s.