Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an uncommon but serious condition that can severely affect mobility and quality of life. If you develop CRPS symptoms, seek advice from Consultants in Pain Medicine: Stephanie S. Jones, MD, in San Antonio, Texas, without delay. Dr. Jones and her team specialize in diagnosing and treating complex pain disorders like CRPS. Call the office to schedule a CRPS evaluation or book a consultation online today.
CRPS (formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD) is a chronic pain condition affecting the arms or legs. Untreated CRPS can lead to irreversible damage, so early diagnosis and treatment offers the most successful outcome.
Type 2 CRPS (causalgia) develops after a specific nerve injury. Type 1 CRPS is more common, affecting around 90% of patients. It causes pain after an injury or illness where the limb suffered no nerve damage.
Research suggests that the CRPS patient’s sympathetic nervous system experiences changes affecting sensation, blood flow, and temperature regulation. But why this happens is unclear.
The primary CRPS symptom is severe burning pain in an arm or leg. Other symptoms include:
Your symptoms may progress through three stages of increasing severity and irreversibility, although this doesn’t happen with all patients. CRPS currently has no cure, but it does sometimes improve over time.
The expert Consultants in Pain Medicine: Stephanie S. Jones, MD team offers a range of treatments to ease symptoms and prevent your condition from worsening. Pain relief may require one or a combination of prescription pain medications, low-dose antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatories).
Your provider may recommend injectable treatments if these medications don’t control your pain. These include sympathetic nerve blocks and stellate ganglion blocks — local anesthetic injections often combined with a corticosteroid medication.
The injection targets specific nerve clusters that send pain messages from the affected limb to your brain. Epidural steroid injections may also be helpful.
Injectable treatments might last several hours to two or more months. Afterward, you may return to Consultants in Pain Medicine: Stephanie S. Jones, MD, for another shot if required. If CRPS symptoms persist despite these measures, your provider can discuss long-term implant procedures, such as:
These minimally invasive treatments enable you to manage CRPS using medications or electrical impulses that interfere with pain nerve transmissions to your brain.
Call Consultants in Pain Medicine: Stephanie S. Jones, MD, to arrange a CRPS evaluation or request an appointment today by completing the online booking form.