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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: 11 Questions on Etiology, Diagnosis, Treatment


Complex regional pain syndrome is often a medical challenge. Try this in-depth quiz on the etiology, the differential diagnosis, and most effective therapies.

Pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, can range from moderate to disabling and clinical outcomes are highly variable. The diagnosis remains a clinical one and is based on a detailed examination and patient history conducted by a physician such as a physiatrist or neurologist. There is no specific test used to confirm CRPS.

The original injury preceding the pain and some signs and symptoms seen more often in patients with CRPS than in other pain syndromes may should raise suspicion for the disorder; once diagnosed, however, the treatment course will be highly individual.

The quiz questions that follow are based on the most current research on diagnosis and treatment. Find out what you know, and what you may want to know more about.


Atkinson A. Unraveling the complex regional pain syndrome enigma. Pain Med. 2020;21:225-229.

Bharwani KD, Dirckx M, Huygen FJM. Complex regional pain syndrome: diagnosis and treatment. BJA Education. 2017;17:262-268.

Harden RN, Oaklander AL, Burton AW, et al. Complex regional pain syndrome: practical diagnostic and treatment guidelines, 4th edition. Pain Med. 2013;14:180-229.

Mesaroli G, Hundert A, Birnie, et al. Screening and diagnostic tools for complex regional pain syndrome. Pain. 2021; 162:1295-1304

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