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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Specialist

George J Graf, MD -  - Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Physician

Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions

George J Graf, MD

Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Physician located in Beverly Hills, CA

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can cause severe pain and other distressing symptoms that may fail to respond to standard treatments. George Graf, MD, at Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions in Beverly Hills, California, is one of the country’s leading experts in CRPS and offers the most effective therapies for patients who are battling this devastating condition. To benefit from his expertise in diagnosing and treating CRPS, call Dr. Graf's Los Angeles area office today or book an appointment online.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Radiating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Service

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a somewhat mysterious chronic pain condition that typically develops after an injury such as a fracture or a severe cut.

CRPS causes persistent pain that can affect your arms, legs, hands, and feet; it is less likely to cause pain in other parts of your body.

The reason why some people develop complex regional pain syndrome isn't clear, but you’re more at risk of CRPS if you’re a woman or if you’ve had a stroke, heart attack, or surgery.

What symptoms can complex regional pain syndrome cause?

Symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome vary between patients, but some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Persistent burning or throbbing pain
  • Swelling of the affected limb
  • Joint stiffness
  • Reduced motor control
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness
  • Changes in skin color or temperature
  • Increased nerve sensitivity

The texture of your skin in the affected area and how your hair and nails grow might also change. If your condition reaches this stage, your CRPS may have reached an irreversible stage.

Complex regional pain syndrome progresses through several stages, although you may not go through all of them. Early diagnosis offers you the best chance of preventing long-term pain and disability.

How is complex regional pain syndrome diagnosed?

There are no lab tests that can positively diagnose complex regional pain syndrome, so Dr. Graf bases his diagnosis on his specialist knowledge of the condition.

He might, however, order X-rays, an MRI, a bone scan, or other diagnostic imaging tests to rule out alternative causes of your symptoms.

What treatments can help with complex regional pain syndrome?

Treating complex regional pain syndrome can be challenging, as it causes such intense pain and is often resistant to treatment. Fortunately, Dr. Graf is an expert in diagnosing and treating patients with CRPS. Options include:

Medications

The combination of drugs that’s best for you may take time to determine, but with Dr. Graf’s experience, you’re likely to find the optimal medications much more quickly. Potential drug treatments include opioids (powerful painkillers that require expert prescribing and monitoring), anticonvulsants, and antidepressants.

Neuromodulation

One of the most effective treatment options for complex regional pain syndrome is dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. It involves using electrical signals to interfere with the function of a bundle of nerves called the dorsal root ganglion, from where much of the pain felt in CRPS originates.

Spinal cord stimulation is another neuromodulation option that works by disrupting the pain signals traveling up your spinal cord to your brain using electrical signals. This treatment requires you to have an implanted device with leads connected to the target nerves. You change the frequency and intensity of the electrical impulses using a handheld controller.

Other treatments that can help some patients include physical therapy, orthobiologic treatments, and complementary therapies.

To get help from one of the foremost experts in CRPS, call Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions today or book an appointment online.