CRPS - Complex regional pain syndrome - Definition

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Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, defines the painful stiffening of a joint, which manifests progressively. In the majority of cases, this is secondary to a more or less poorly healed trauma, but can also occur following surgery. After having progressed, this condition can manifest with softening of the bones. CRPS causes chronic pain that makes moving difficult. Imaging scans do not reveal any lesions, apart from signs of bone softening that are sometimes visible on X-ray. Other imaging techniques, such as MRI scan, only serve, therefore, to rule out a different potential condition. Treatment methods aim to reduce pain and improve mobility with the aid of physiotherapy.