What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

How is CRPS diagnosed?

If a patient seeks medical help, and they may have CRPS, the doctor will ask about the patient’s medical history and will look for swollen joints and changes to skin temperature and appearance.

There are a number of diagnostic tests for CRPS.

  • A bone scan uses a special camera to look for increased circulation to the joints in the affected area.
  • SNS catecholamine tests can identify possible anomalies.
  • A sweat test can show if the affected limb produces more sweat than an unaffected limb.
  • Thermography measures skin temperature of specific parts of the body. High or low skin temperature in the affected area could indicate CRPS.
  • Electrodiagnostic testing involves attaching wires to the skin and measuring the electrical activity of nerves. Abnormal readings could indicate nerve damage, and possible type 2 CRPS.
  • X-rays can detect mineral loss in the bones at later stages.
  • A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a blood test or a biopsy can rule out underlying problems with bones or tissue.

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