It’s described as when the nervous system goes haywire after an injury or surgery (usually hand or foot). For example, a patient sprains their ankle. Typically it would heal and go back to normal. With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome the ankle starts to swell, becomes cold to touch, hair stops growing, skin becomes shinny, and normal touch now feels painful. The injury somehow changes the nervous system and alters its activity in the affect extremity, and can even spread to an unaffected limb. No one knows why certain people get this syndrome.
Treatment: Physical therapy, nerve pain medications, creams, compounded. A sympathetic block is first procedure. Some evidence that doing this block ASAP can lead to a better outcome. Block lumbar sympathetic at L3 for leg/foot and Stellate Ganglion for arm/hand. The purpose of the block is to reset the computer. If a sympathetic block isn’t effective or short lived, then a spinal cord stimulator or pain pump would be the next options.