Complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS) is thought to be caused by dysregulation of the

nervous system. There are two types. The first is caused by direct injury to the affected nerve

and the other happens without any obvious injury to the affected nerve. Symptoms and

progression are the same for both types. CPRS is quite painful and requires immediate

attention.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of CPRS include itching, burning, swelling, and discoloration of the foot and

ankle. Severity of the symptoms will depend upon how the condition has progressed. In the

early months or acute stage you should look for chronic, burning pain, joint stiffness and

warmth or redness of the affected area.

During the dystrophic stage, or after about four to nine months symptoms include increased

sensitivity to touch, brittle nails, more intense pain experienced over a larger area. Finally in the

third or atrophic phase, after the condition has progressed beyond a year, there is less mobility

in the foot and ankle. There may be less pain but additional complications as the condition

often spreads to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis

Early diagnosis and treatment is critical for best outcomes. Our Atlanta podiatrist will review

your medical history and perform a physical examination. Additional testing may be required

for the most complete understanding of the symptoms and their impact.

Treatment

Over the counter medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication provide

some relief. Prescription medication may also be appropriate. For example, stronger pain

relievers or antidepressants. Living with extreme, chronic pain and sensitivity to touch can

impact quality of life to such a degree that depression results. Antidepressants may offer some

relief. Talk therapy is another useful option.

Physical and/or occupational therapy and injections have also been successful for treating

CPRS. Again, CPRS is best treated early. Once the condition has progressed or if there is no

response to non-surgical treatment, surgery may be an appropriate option.

Surgical interventions include implantation of a spinal cord stimulator that delivers impulses to

the affected nerve.

If you suspect you have complex regional pain syndrome of the foot or ankle, don’t wait. Please

call today for an appointment. Our Atlanta podiatrist will evaluate your condition and work with

you to develop a treatment plan. We have many years’ experience treating a variety of

conditions. Trust our knowledgeable, caring staff to understand your health concerns and help

you feel better fast.

Dr. Fui Dawson
Podiatrist in Marietta, GA, Dr. Fui Dawson, is a Harvard trained Foot & Ankle Specialist treating patients in Marietta, GA and in the surrounding communities. Our clinic, Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia, offers treatment for all foot and ankle conditions.
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