Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that typically affects an arm or a leg and develops after an injury, surgery, stroke, or heart attack. It is uncommon and the cause is not clearly understood.

Signs and Symptoms of CRPS

Nonstop burning or throbbing pain

Sensitivity to touch or cold


Changes in skin temperature

Changes in skin color

Changes in hair and nail growth

Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage

Muscle atrophy

Decreased ability to move the affected body part

Signs and symptoms may change over time, with pain, swelling, redness, and noticeable changes in temperature being the first ones to occur. Over time, the affected limb may become cold and pale and may be accompanied by muscle spasms and tightening.

Types of CRPS

Type 1

Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, this type occurs after an illness or injury that indirectly damages the nerves in the affected limb. It is the dominant type to occur in patients with about 90% of individuals experiencing Type 1.

Type 2

This type has similar properties to Type 1, but follows a direct nerve injury.

Causes of CRPS

In many cases, a forceful trauma to an arm or leg causes CRPS. Other major and minor traumas, including surgery, heart attacks, infections, and sprains can lead to CRPS.

Before seeing Dr.Carney I was in so much pain and was unable to eat or sleep. Since seeing him I’m well on the road to recovery and my pain level went from as high as a 10 to down to a 1 or 2 most days. He really knows his business and I highly recommend him.

Vicky Barham

Dr. Carney offers specialized treatment options for those suffering from CRPS. Call (574) 389-7737 or contact our office today to get started on discussing your treatment plan.