Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a painful condition seen in children after a sometimes, trivial seeming, injury. Typically, the injury may be diagnosed as a sprain in the ankle or hand, but in this condition the extremity may go on to have an unusual severe, burning pain where even touching the foot or hand may cause pain. In children, if recognized and treated early on, this condition usually resolves fairly quickly, as it did in Isabel's case below.

Sometimes, however, if treated improperly, or left untreated, the condition can progress and become extremely painful. In these situations, the extremity becomes cool, mottled. Children react by not walking on the affected limb and the condition worsens.

In our Center for Pain Relief, we offer state of the art treatment by using physical therapy, psychological support and a few medications that best get to the underlying problem.

Isabel’s story: In her own words

Hi, I’m Isabel, and I’m 9 years old. One day, my foot started hurting. My mom and I thought that I had hurt it in gym class. I told her it felt prickly and that I couldn’t walk on it, so she rented a wheelchair for me.

My mom took me to see an orthopaedist the next day, which was good because he had diagnosed me with CRPS right away. Next, he sent me to see Dr. Venable at the pain clinic at Children’s. She gave me medicine called Neurontin and sent me to a physical therapist named Jill.

Jill helped me get out of the wheelchair and taught my foot how to be a foot again. It took about a week or two for me to recover. After my foot was better there were no sports limits for me, so now I’m playing soccer and doing a triathlon!