Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome

LS Osher Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland 44106.

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GJ Young Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland 44106.

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AA Edwards Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland 44106.

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P Usewicz Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland 44106.

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JE Lichniak Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland 44106.

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Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome is a troublesome, complex disorder that presents with chronic, unexplained aching or burning pain, the intensity of which is incommensurable with the original injury. Six diagnostic criteria have been described by Genant et al: pain and tenderness in the extremities; swelling of soft tissue; diminished motor function; trophic skin changes; vasomotor instability; and patchy osteoporosis. Currently, the most widely accepted etiology is an initial vasomotor reflex spasm occurring after an injury to the extremity, followed by a loss of vascular tone, persistent vasodilation, and rapid bone resorption.

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