reflex sympathetic dystrophy

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(RSD, complex regional pain syndrome, Sudek’s atrophy) neurological dysfunction in a limb following trauma, surgery, or disease, characterized by intense burning pain, swelling, stiffness, and sweaty shiny mottled skin. It is caused by overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. The ESR is often elevated, X-rays may reveal some patchy osteoporosis, and a bone scan usually demonstrates increased blood flow. Early treatment with splinting and physiotherapy are essential, in combination with sympatholytic drugs, corticosteroids, and regional sympathetic blocks; sympathectomy may be required in chronic cases.

Subjects: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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