Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (or CRPS) often
develops after a simple nerve injury that evolves into a crippling, painful
condition that leaves victims unable to work or function normally.
The symptoms associated with CRPS may change
as the syndrome progresses. For example, the patient may initially complain
of a swollen limb, the next month the patient may experience coldness
in limbs or even complain of a seemingly disassociated symptom such as
hair loss or discolored skin. The hallmark symptom is a burning pain that
usually develops within a few months of the original injury. The symptoms
may spread from one limb to another or from one side of the body to another.
CRPS can cross from one limb to another across the body, and even change
symptoms entirely as the syndrome progresses.
Like other chronic pain syndromes, CRPS can
become debilitating. Proper and prompt diagnosis is important as that
can limit the negative effects of this syndrome. Unfortunately, it is
often months or longer before a patient receives the proper diagnosis