Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type 1 (CRPS1) is a disease of the extremity that usually occurs as a complication after surgery or trauma, although spontaneous occurrence has also been described. The clinical features include pain/sensory abnormalities, vasomotor dysfunction, edema/sudomotor dysfunction, and motor/trophic changes. The diagnosis of CRPS is based on findings during the history and physical examination. Several diagnostic criteria sets have been developed, and the most used are the Veldman criteria, the IASP criteria (the International Association for the Study of Pain), and the Bruehl criteria. There is a distinction between CRPS types 1 and 2. Type 1 occurs without any peripheral nerve lesion, whereas in type 2 there is definite peripheral nerve damage. In the Netherlands, the incidence of CRPS is estimated to be approximately 26.2 per 100,000 person years, with a median age of onset of 52.7 years. CRPS occurs more often in females than in males, with a ratio of approximately 3.4:1. The upper extremity is more often affected than the lower extremity, and the right and the left sides of the body are affected with the same frequency. A fracture is the most common precipitating event (44%) for CRPS, followed by a contusion/sprain in 17% of the population.

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J. Klein (Jan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wesseldijk, F. (2008, October 17). “Inflammatory Soup” Mediators of inflammation in CRPS. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from