Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome or RSD (also known as RSD/CRPS is a multi symptom as well as a multi system syndrome It is a very debilitating disorder with simultaneous involvement There is no specific test available for RSD/CRPS although there The pain signals turn around and trigger signals to the The sympathetic signals cause inflammatory/swelling results, The pain repeats the cycle and it continues thus causing
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) is a neurological syndrome
characterized by disabling pain, usually following some sort
of neurological or bone injury (particularly fractures).
Other symptoms may include pathological changes in bone and
skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling, and extreme
sensitivity to touch.
While the clinical syndrome of RSD is distinct, there is no
specific laboratory test to diagnose RSD/CRPS. As a result,
the diagnosis depends upon the physician's assessment of the
patient's complaints (medical history) as well as any objective
findings upon physical examination.
While RSD is not a rare disorder, it is rarely discussed. As a
result, RSD is generally poorly understood by patients, their
families, and healthcare professionals. Cases can range
significantly in severity. RSD may affect millions of Americans.
It occurs after 1 to 2 % of various fractures and after 2 to 5%
of peripheral nerve injuries. It may also occur following surgery.
The injury need not be a major one; RSD can even develop as the
result of sprains. In 10-20% of cases, however, no causal event
can be identified. Regrettably, the diagnosis is often missed or
delayed. While some mild cases may resolve without treatment,
the usual pattern of spread is up the affected extremity
and then may continue to spread on the same side of the body or
to the opposite extremity. RSD may even spread to a distant site.
While RSD predominantly affects adults, it can start as young as
3 years old. Too often, the complaints of chronic pain in children
are not taken seriously, or are treated as if they are affected by
a purely psychological condition. Affected children may develop
psychological problems as a consequence of RSD, however, especially
if physicians, parents, teachers, and other children do not believe
their complaints of chronic pain.
that will usually affect one or more upper or lower extremities,
but it may also affect practically any other part of your body.
Although Dr. Mitchell first mentioned it many years ago during
the Civil War, it remains poorly understood and too often missed
by doctors who think the patient is simply exaggerating!
of nerves, skin, muscles, blood vessels and even the bones. The
most common fact in each patient with this terrible monster is
extreme pain, and any other symptom may vary from one person to
are several tests that can be helpful when trying to diagnosis
the syndrome. The thing that needs to be done is to rule out
everything else out, by doing test such as MRI, EMG, and Nerve
Conduction Studies. These test usually don’t show RSD. Plain x-rays
will show osteoporosis very early on, Sympathetic Blocks are
useful but not always reliable and Three Phase Bone Scans can be
helpful at times as well.
The mechanism or way RSD begins is thought to be this:
The injury starts the cycle by beginning to send pain signals
which are carried by the sympathetic nervous system to the spinal
cord and brain.
sympathetic nervous system back to the site of the injury.
they cause the blood vessels to go into spasms leading to
burning, extremity pain, and redness of the skin.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome or RSD (also known as
RSD/CRPS is a multi symptom as well as a multi system syndrome
It is a very debilitating disorder with simultaneous involvement
There is no specific test available for RSD/CRPS although there
The pain signals turn around and trigger signals to the
The sympathetic signals cause inflammatory/swelling results,
The pain repeats the cycle and it continues thus causing