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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?

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    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    The symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can include:

    • pain that is continuous and intense, and out of proportion to the severity of the injury
    • swelling
    • limited range of motion
    • vasomotor instability (abnormal changes in skin temperature, colour and sweating)
    • muscle spasms
    • joint pain
    • severe burning and throbbing pain
    • allodynia - where a normal stimulus (such as light touch) is experienced as a painful sensation
    • joint contractures (late) and muscle wasting
    Usually CRPS begins after an injury or operation. It can also occur after a heart attack or stroke. The exact cause of the condition is not known.

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