Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Delmarva Pain and Spine Center

Pain Management Physicians located in Newark, DE

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful condition that affects around 200,000 Americans. If you have unexplained pain in one of your limbs, contact Shachi Patel, MD, at Delmarva Pain and Spine Center in Newark, Delaware. Dr. Patel is a double board-certified interventional pain management expert who offers personalized, multimodal treatments for CRPS. Call Delmarva Pain and Spine Center or schedule a consultation online today.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is CRPS?

CRPS is a chronic pain condition that usually affects a limb, like your arm or leg. The condition develops when your nervous system and immune system respond disproportionately to a traumatic injury or surgery. Your pain is more severe than your condition warrants, and it long outlasts your recovery. 

There are two types of CRPS. Type 1 CRPS follows an illness or injury that doesn’t cause nerve damage directly. Type 2 develops after a distinct nerve injury. 

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

CRPS symptoms are highly variable. Some of the common signs of CRPS include:

  • Continuous throbbing or burning pain in a limb
  • Increased sensitivity to cold and touch
  • Swelling
  • Skin temperature changes
  • Skin appears mottled red or blue
  • Nail and hair growth decreases
  • Joint swelling and stiffness
  • Muscle spasm and weakness

Your symptoms can change or get worse over time. The symptoms can also spread to the opposite limb. When these symptoms go untreated, you have an increased risk of muscle tightening and tissue atrophy. 

How is CRPS diagnosed?

While there’s no single test to identify CRPS, Dr. Patel provides thorough exams to assess your pain and its impact on your life. 

She might order X-rays, bone scans, and MRI imaging to study the inside of the affected limb. She also uses sympathetic nervous system tests to check for nerve damage and signs of CRPS. 

How is CRPS treated?

At Delmarva Pain and Spine Center, Dr. Patel provides customized treatment plans to reduce your pain and restore your quality of life. She has helped many patients overcome their symptoms with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. 

You have a weeklong trial to determine if DRG stimulation is right for you. If the treatment alleviates your symptoms, Dr. Patel surgically places up to four electrode leads into the dorsal root ganglion, and a pulse generator goes under the skin of your buttocks or abdomen.

Like with spinal cord stimulation, the generator sends mild electrical pulses through the electrodes, and these pulses disrupt the malfunctioning nerve signals and reduce your pain and other symptoms. 

Call Delmarva Pain and Spine Center or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and customized treatment for CRPS.

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