Complex regional pain syndrome type I as a consequence of trauma or surgery to upper extremity: management with intravenous regional anaesthesia, using lidocaine and methyloprednisolone
Complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS-I) is a known complication after surgery or trauma to the upper extremity and is difficult to treat. A simple and easily tolerated method of treatment that includes intravenous regional anaesthetic block with lidocaine and methyloprednisolone is presented. One hundred and sixty-eight patients with CRPS-I of the upper extremity were treated in a 5-year period. At the end of treatment 88% of the patients reported minimal or no pain. After a mean follow-up of 5 years (range 28 months to 7 years) complete absence of pain was reported by 92% of patients. The symptoms of the acute phase of the syndrome were reversed. Early recognition and prompt initiation of treatment is very important for the course of the disease as symptoms can be reversible when treatment starts early. Permanent results with a functional upper extremity and very satisfactory pain relief can be anticipated.