Complex Regional Pain Syndrome


4.6 out of 5 (43 Reviews)



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Expiration Date

28 Feb 2026

Last Reviewed

1 Mar 2023

Estimated Time To Finish

90 Minutes

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Activity Description

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a neuropathic pain disorder defined by the presence of distinct clinical features, including allodynia, hyperalgesia, sudomotor and vasomotor abnormalities, and trophic changes. The pain experienced is disproportionate to the degree of tissue injury and persists beyond the normal expected time for tissue healing. The pathophysiology is multifactorial and involves pain dysregulation in the sympathetic and central nervous systems, with likely genetic, inflammatory, and psychological contributions. There are two subtypes: type I, formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and type II, formerly known as causalgia. Type I occurs in the absence of nerve trauma, while type II occurs in the setting of known nerve trauma. Clinically they are indistinguishable and follow a regional rather than dermatomal or peripheral nerve distribution. CPRS favors the distal extremities, though spread beyond the initially affected area commonly occurs in the proximal or contralateral limb. CRPS is further subdivided into "warm" versus "cold" and sympathetically-maintained versus sympathetically-independent, which may affect prognosis and treatment options. This activity describes the evaluation and management of complex regional pain syndrome and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in improving care for affected patients.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Outline the typical presentation of complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Describe the Budapest Criteria and their role in the diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Review the treatment options for complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Explain how careful planning and discussion amongst interprofessional team members involved in the care of patients with complex regional pain syndrome can help improve patient outcomes.


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Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is reported to the following Maintenance of Certification (MOC) boards:
American Board of Anesthesiology
  • Trauma
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Sleep Medicine
American Board of Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
American Board of Pediatrics
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Sleep Medicine

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  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content in the activity.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment.
  6. Obtain a certificate.

For information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.


Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls specifically disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

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  • StatPearls andQuillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Institutions. 


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    good review

    NASAR S. on 2/15/2021

    sheryl s. on 4/5/2021

    Rola h. on 10/30/2021

    kathleen k. on 11/11/2021

    Suzanne T. on 11/24/2021

    Donald A. on 2/8/2022

    Edward M. on 3/31/2022

    Bhupendra G. on 3/11/2022

    Timothy O. on 3/12/2022

    Alexei K. on 3/24/2022

    Kerrey T. on 6/7/2022

    Robert M. on 7/8/2022

    AC R. on 7/19/2022

    Please consider the topics: what's RN to be asked for deposition, violence management: from patients, co-workers, MDs, CPO/CPE level of contact isolation.

    YUKARI N. on 7/30/2022

    Cory C. on 8/15/2022

    hary a. on 8/21/2022

    Peter M. on 8/23/2022

    Autumn M. on 8/26/2022

    Thanks for offering the CME on CRPS.

    Sheryl Z. on 9/12/2022

    jalil r. on 10/2/2022

    jaime r. on 10/4/2022

    Christine G. on 10/8/2022

    Michael V. on 10/11/2022

    Vishal A. on 11/4/2022

    Daniel R. on 11/18/2022

    Ketan H. on 11/24/2022

    Kimberly R. on 12/1/2022

    Vektra C. on 12/26/2022

    John P. on 12/30/2022

    Diane C. on 1/12/2023

    peter h. on 1/12/2023

    Anne D. on 1/29/2023

    Lesly P. on 2/20/2023

    Christina R. on 2/23/2023

    The teaching points are very helpful.

    Jennifer O. on 2/23/2023


    Manijeh Z. on 2/24/2023

    Dong O. on 2/25/2023

    TIMOTHY L. on 3/11/2023

    Jess P. on 4/7/2023

    Jana M. on 4/17/2023

    GABRIEL R. on 4/30/2023

    JOSEPH B. on 5/5/2023

    Missak K. on 5/28/2023

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