Once known as causalgia, this condition is now commonly called Type II Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS II). This neurological disorder causes extensive and ongoing pain and inflammation after an injury to a leg or an arm. A patient with CRPS II can experience acute or short-term symptoms or chronic, long lasting symptoms that occur for more than six months. When this occurs, help from an experienced Dallas foot doctor is extremely important.
Usually, CRPS II is caused by injuries that involve the nerves running from the neck to the arms. If there is a disruption in the neural signals, a person feels pain, and there is an increase in the amount of the neurotransmitter “norepinephrine”—a sort of chemical courier that sends signals across your body’s nerve endings. When this happens, it can cause reduced blood flow due to dilated or constricted blood vessels. There are various treatments for causalgia, including neurostimulation.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Causalgia
CRPS II is often caused by a trauma to the limb or foot such as a fracture or a crushed bone. According to our Dallas foot doctor, the most common symptom is burning pain in the foot within 24 hours of injury to the nerve.
Some other symptoms include:
- Changes in the skin’s color or temperature
- Skin that is dry or scaly
- Changes in hair growth
- Swelling and stiffness in the joint
- Inability to move the affected limb
- Sweating around the area of injury
- Muscle spasms and weakness
Those with causalgia may be hypersensitive to touch and cold temperatures and may find it difficult to put on clothing or be touched without experiencing intense pain. Many symptoms of this condition may last for months and worsen with any sensory stimulation.
To diagnose CRPS II, a Dallas foot doctor will review your medical history and do a physical exam. If needed, imaging tests may also be ordered.
Treatment Options for CRPS II
Finding relief from chronic pain can be a challenge. There is no known cure for CRPS II, but a combination of treatments is often recommended by our Dallas foot doctor to help manage the symptoms. Treatment may include:
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Steroids to reduce inflammation
- Antidepressants or anticonvulsants
- Nerve blocks
- Hot compresses
- Physical therapy
One of the most effective treatments for chronic foot pain that has minimal risks and no side effects is neurostimulation. Neurostimulation works by sending gentle electrical pulses to disrupt the signals that cause pain. The Primary Relief Vagal Nerve Stimulator is a wearable neurostimulation device that sends an electrical current through three tiny needles to the vagus nerve in the ear. The vagus nerve becomes stimulated, and pain is reduced. There are also neurostimulators that can be implanted.
Contact Our Office Today for Treatment of Type II Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
At Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, our Dallas foot doctor can determine if neurostimulation will work for your condition. We can fit a small device to your ear with adhesives that emits waves of electrical frequencies to check if you respond to this type of treatment.
If you are experiencing intense, chronic pain in your legs or feet that negatively impacts your daily activities, consult with our Dallas foot doctor as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment, contact us online, or call our Grapevine or Keller office.