Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) now commonly referred to as Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), is a chronic pain condition characterized by severe pain, swelling, and changes in the skin. It is believed to be the result of dysfunction in the nervous systems. Without treatment, the condition will worsen with the possibility of spreading. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy & CRPS generally affect limbs (ie. a leg, arm, hand, or foot), and its symptoms vary from patient-to-patient.
There is no one specific cause for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, it can be triggered by a previous injury or trauma to the affected area, including, surgeries. It can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms tend to overlap each other. Bone imaging and x-rays are considered reliable methods to diagnose the syndrome.