Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Emergency Medicine Follow-up

Updated: Oct 16, 2015
  • Author: Steven J Parrillo, DO, FACOEP, FACEP; Chief Editor: Robert E O'Connor, MD, MPH  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

It is in the best interest of patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) to have a physician knowledgeable about this entity orchestrate all care. Appropriate referral is important.

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Further Inpatient Care

Although not FDA approved in the United States, in some countries, patients with complex regional pain syndrome are hospitalized and placed on continuous intravenous infusions of medications such as lidocaine or ketamine. As a dissociative anesthetic, the latter is intended to "erase" the memory of dysfunctioning neurons. Results have been variable.

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Deterrence/Prevention

It has been well documented that those with complex regional pain syndrome who are diagnosed earliest do the best. Once the disease is well established, it probably cannot be reversed.

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Complications

Once refractory to neural blockade, pain is probably lifelong and may be severe enough to be debilitating.

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Prognosis

Prognosis of complex regional pain syndrome depends largely on timely diagnosis and use of early aggressive therapy.

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Patient Education

Patients should be encouraged to seek out CRPS support groups.

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