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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome - CRPS

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					Further information is                  More information is available
available at the following              at:




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                                                                                                     Patient Information for the
locations:                              www.arc.org.uk                                        Gloucestershire Health Community
Cheltenham General Hospital             www.rsd-crps.co.uk




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Physiotherapy Department
08454 223040
Occupational Therapy Department




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08454 224088




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Orthopaedic Outpatient Department
08454 223147
                                                                                        Complex Regional



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Plaster room
08454 223148
Pain clinic                                                                              Pain Syndrome



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08454 223198
Cirencester Hospital - Physiotherapy                                                         (CRPS)
Department 01285 884583
                                                                                               Also known as:




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                                                                                        Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
                                                                                               Algodystrophy




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Physiotherapy Department 08454 228527




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Occupational Therapy Department
08454 226559
Orthopaedic Outpatient Department




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08454 228408
Plaster room: 08454 228411
Pain clinic 08454 225124




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Lydney Hospital
01594 598235
Stroud General Hospital
01453 562260
Tewkesbury Hospital 01684 853933                      GHPI0729_04_07
                                                   Author: Physiotherapy
                                                   Review due: April 2010
This leaflet answers questions frequently     What effects does CRPS                          How long does CRPS last?
asked by patients with Complex Regional
                                              have?                                           Approximately 50% of cases are mild and




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Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
                                              1. Pain                                         resolve quickly and without treatment. In
                                                                                              more severe cases symptoms may last for




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                                                 This is the most common complaint
What is CRPS?                                                                                 up to two years and occasionally longer.




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                                                 and is usually out of proportion to
CRPS is a poorly understood condition.           the severity of the injury. The affected
It occurs most commonly following                part is often sensitive to touch and         How is CRPS treated?




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injury or surgery, although it can also          just stroking the area can cause




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                                                                                              •   It is important to continue with as
occur following heart attacks, strokes or        pain. Sudden shocks or jolts can also
                                                                                                  many normal everyday activities
infections. It usually affects the hands         result in increased pain. When this is
                                                                                                  as possible whilst waiting for the




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or feet although it can also affect the          experienced it does not mean that
                                                                                                  condition to resolve. Pacing your
ankles, knees or shoulders. CRPS varies          further damage is being done.
                                                                                                  activities will help, i.e. keeping your
considerably in severity and is also known




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                                              2. Swelling and stiffness                           level of activity the same on good and
by a number of other names including
                                                 These are often linked. Fingers/toes             bad days. Occupational therapists can
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and
                                                 may be swollen and because of this,              help you deal with specific difficulties.
Algodystrophy.
                                                 mobility is restricted and stiffness




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                                                                                              •   Physiotherapy is the main treatment.
                                                 experienced. In the hand this may                The aim of physiotherapy is to maintain
Why does CRPS occur?                             result in difficulty making a fist.              or restore movement in the affected




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                                              3. Changes in skin colour, temperature              joints so that contractures (permanent




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We do not know exactly why it occurs.
It is thought that in patients with CRPS         and sweating                                     stiffness) do not occur. Therapists
the body’s response to injury or surgery is      The affected part can become hot and             will advise the most effective way to
exaggerated causing more pain, stiffness,        red, or cold and blue. The hand or foot          achieve this and also provide advice on




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and/or swelling, than normally expected.         may sweat more profusely than on the             how to control other symptoms.
                                                 unaffected side. Occasionally changes        •   Painkillers may help you to continue




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                                                 in the skin, nails and even hair growth          most everyday activities and to exercise
Who gets CRPS?                                   are experienced.                                 effectively.
Unfortunately anyone can be affected. It                                                      •   Injections performed by Pain
may occur in up to 30% of cases following                                                         Consultants may be helpful if the
wrist fracture although in most cases the
                                              How is CRPS diagnosed?
                                                                                                  condition is slow to improve. These are
symptoms are mild and resolve. There is no    The diagnosis is made by the symptoms               usually followed by a short period of
way of predicting who will be affected and    described and also by the examination               intensive physiotherapy.
there is no known way of preventing it.       performed by a doctor or physiotherapist.
                                              In later cases there may be changes seen
                                              on x-ray or bone scan.

				
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Description: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome - CRPS