Complex Regional Pain Syndrome


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a neurological disorder producing peripheral neurogenic inflammatory process in hands and feet distal to injury, which may lead to severe disability. Symptoms are often out of proportion to the initiating event and not limited to a single peripheral nerve. There is no gold standard in diagnosis of this entity, and a multidisciplinary approach is necessary for proper diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most useful diagnostic modalities in early stages of CRPS (when clinical diagnosis is most difficult), the most desirable time to diagnose this disorder to expedite treatment and improve function. This article discusses MRI findings of CRPS, particularly in the early phase, and differential considerations. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 25(2):117–120, 2016)
Key words: bone marrow edema, complex regional pain syndrome, magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, overuse, reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Hale Ersoy, MD; and Stephen J. Pomeranz, MD