Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Also known as complex regional pain syndrome is an entity that researchers think that pain in the extremities (upper and lower) can originate from increased sympathetic activity due to injury. It is a very diagnosis to come by and it involves initial failed management by pain management teams. In the process of evaluating the source of the pain trials chemical sympathectomy with alcohol can be applied. If chemical sympathectomy gives relief on a temporary basis and it can be repeated on several occasions then the possibility of surgical sympathectomy should be entertained.

This new clinical entity is the result of the emerging field of pain management. It is a new a sub specialty that deals with patients who for different reasons develop pain in one of the extremities as a result of an injury (electrocution, operative injury, etc). Those patients will develop an agonizing chronic pain that is associated with some skin quality changes discoloration and quality of the skin in the affected area. Attempts were carried out to define the source of those changes and the most recent theories are suggest a sympathetically mediated source of this problem. It is not an easy diagnosis to make and it necessitates a very long and extensive treatment modalities which include attempts to control it with temporary chemical sympathectomy. If those show temporary relief then consideration of surgical sympathectomy should be given.

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