Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare but challenging pain condition. Andrew Morchower, MD, MPH, is a board-certified interventional spine and pain management and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician specializing in diagnosing and treating CRPS. At OmniSpine Pain Management in Frisco and Mesquite, Texas, Dr. Morchower understands the complexity of the pain condition and offers innovative treatment. Call the nearest office today or schedule your consultation using the online booking tool.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that develops following an injury or surgery to the arm or leg. It causes pain that’s out of proportion with the initial trauma.
The pain is usually localized to the hand, arm, foot, or leg. People with CRPS can experience burning pain along with swelling, stiffness and discoloration in the affected limb.
Researchers are still looking into what causes someone to develop CRPS. Right now, they theorize that the injury to the extremity triggers overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system (the nerves that manage unconscious functions), changing blood flow and sweat gland activity.
CRPS symptoms vary, but appear to develop in stages. CRPS symptom stages include:
During stage I, you can experience various pain sensations, like burning and an increased sensitivity to touch. You might then develop swelling and stiffness in the joint and notice changes in hair or nail growth.
During stage II, your swelling is chronic and the pain is widespread.
At stage III of CRPS, your skin in the affected limb becomes dry, shiny, and stretched. Your joints remain stiff and your symptoms can affect other parts of your body.
There’s no single test to diagnose CRPS. Dr. Morchower completes a thorough evaluation when you come in with pain symptoms to determine its underlying cause.
He reviews your medical history and symptoms and examines the affected limb. Dr. Morchower could request imaging studies, like X-rays or bone scans, to confirm a diagnosis. CRPS can cause bone wasting and an increase in bone growth. X-rays and bone scans often provide more insight into your symptoms.
Early diagnosis and treatment of CRPS can prevent long-term complications.
Dr. Morchower takes a personalized approach to care, customizing your CRPS treatment based on the severity and stage of your symptoms and the area of the body affected.
Initial treatment can include:
Dr. Morchower performs the stellate ganglion nerve block to diagnose the cause of your CRPS and ease its symptoms. The stellate ganglion is part of the sympathetic nervous system and the nerve block injection aims to stop the pain.
CRPS is a challenging pain condition that requires personalized care. Call the OmniSpine Pain Management office nearest you today or schedule an appointment online.