How is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) diagnosed?

There is no specific test to diagnose complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is diagnosed mainly through careful history, physical examination and review of your symptoms. Your healthcare provider will ask you if you’d had a recent injury (such as a sprain), fracture or surgery.

They will look for:

  • A change in the appearance, temperature, and texture of your skin in the affected area.
  • A higher-than-expected amount of pain from an injury.
  • Any other disease or conditions that could cause your pain, changes in your skin or other symptoms.

A specific number of the symptoms described in this article must be present to confirm a diagnosis of CRPS. This diagnostic criteria is called the Budapest criteria (see reference section at end of article for a link to learn more ).

Other tests: Other tests may be ordered to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. For example, an electromyography (EMG) may reveal other causes of neuropathy, which may result in some similar pain scenarios.

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