The Role of Sex in the Evaluation and Management of CRPS

Erica Giles, BSc, and Cordelia W. Carter, MD

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an incompletely understood sequela of orthopaedic trauma in which the predominant feature is pain that is out of proportion to the degree of the inciting injury. Multiple terms have been used to describe CRPS in the past, including reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), Sudeck’s atrophy, and causalgia.

Similarly, different classification systems have been used to characterize CRPS, and the diagnostic criteria continue to evolve. The result is a marked heterogeneity in the scientific literature that makes clear interpretation of the clinical presentation, effective treatment methods, and functional outcomes of CRPS difficult.

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