How is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) treated in the emergency department (ED)?

Updated: Nov 08, 2018
  • Author: Steven J Parrillo, DO, FACOEP, FACEP; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Definitive care is really beyond the purview of the ED physician. An emergency physician's primary role with patients who have complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS)/reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS) is to recognize the possibility of the diagnosis and refer such patients to colleagues who are capable of using available therapies. Breaking through the pain cycle early increases the likelihood of a better outcome.

The 3 basic modes of therapy include pain management, rehabilitation (including physical therapy), and psychological therapy. [37]

Once the diagnosis is established, a number of treatment modalities that have been proven helpful are available. The most effective treatment involves differential neural blockade. Children may also benefit from neural blockade. [36]


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