Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome, also known as causalgia, is characterized by chronic pain. Names formerly used for this disorder were reflex sympathetic dystrophy, Sudek’s atrophy, and algoneurodystrophy. It can occur in limbs, hands, or feet most commonly. Causes for complex regional pain are varied and include injury (trauma), surgery, stroke, or myocardial infarction (heart attack). In rare cases, it has occurred with no injury or known cause (idiopathic). The pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome is much greater than the injury or offense would suggest. Complex regional pain syndrome is less serious as it does NOT involve nerve damage. Causalgia DOES involve nerve damage. Complex regional pain syndrome can strike any age of a person, though it seems to affect women three times as frequently as men. Smokers are also twice as likely to develop this disorder as non-smokers. The symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome are:

  • Decreased use/ability to use affected body part
  • Hair/nail growth changes
  • Increased sweating of site affected
  • Joint involvement
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain (can be burning, throbbing, sensitivity to touch and cold temperature exposure)
  • Skin temperature changes
  • Skin texture changes
  • Skin tint changes (usually a red or purple coloration)
  • Swelling

Complications of complex regional pain syndrome are:

  • Atrophy (a wasting away of tissues)
  • Loss of use of affected area
  • Muscle contracture
  • Osteomalacia and osteoporosis (bone softened, weakening, thinning)
  • Pain and loss of function can spread beyond the area originally affected

Complex regional pain syndrome can be misdiagnosed as a specific injury to an area, such as arthritis, myalgia, and other afflictions. If you or a loved one suffered a worsening of condition from a complex regional pain syndrome misdiagnosis or similar disorder, you may be eligible for damages. Let the experts at the Sweeney Law Firm review the facts to see if you have a medical malpractice case. There is no fee for representation unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.