Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystropy (RSD) is a condition characterized by an ongoing (spontaneous and/or evoked) regional (not in a specific nerve territory or dermatome) pain that appears disproportionate in time or degree to the actual injury. This syndrome shows variable progression over time.
Treatment of CRPS involves a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on restoring function in the affected limb. Frequently, pain mediation and treatment of coexisting psychological conditions are necessary adjuncts for successful treatment.
Many different classes of medications have been investigated in the treatment of CRPS. Anti-inflammatories, antidepressants and opioids are among some of the drugs patients are commonly prescribed. Each presents its own limitations and side effects that hamper their usefulness. Ketamine infusion has been shown to decrease the neuropathic pain associated with CRPS. Psychotherapy in conjunction with ketamine therapy has the potential to facilitate functional restoration efforts and greatly improve quality of life. Due to the debilitating nature of CRPS, individuals with this diagnosis have an increased risk of developing severe depression and suicide.
Therapies are most effective when started early in the course of the disease. However, we encourage you to reach out, wherever you are in the evolution of this condition. Let us help you modify your treatment program.