Sudeck’s Atrophy Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Learn all about sudecks. Sudeck’s disease (Sudeck dystrophy) is an inflammatory disease of connective tissue. Sudeck’s disease usually occurs after an injury in the arm, hand, shoulder, foot or leg.

Sudeck’s disease is characterized by the recurrence of pain, swelling, mobility disorders, skin changes, differences in temperature at the location of the wound after healing. In severe cases, there was a total loss of function of the extremities involved. Sudeck’s atrophy is reasonably common – it may occur after as many as 5% of traumatic injuries. RSDS frequently occurs between the ages of 40 and 60 but also can occur in children and the elderly. It is more common among women.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS) is relatively common and has been reported to occur after 5% of all traumatic injuries. It may occur following fractures to the extremities, joint sprains or following surgery. It has also been reported following immobilization and frostbite. It is thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the regulation of blood supply to the affected part. The condition is often not diagnosed until sometime after the initial symptoms begin.

The symptoms are variable and will present themselves differently from patient to patient. The main symptoms begin with a generalised burning pain; this is usually followed by changes in the condition of the skin, which may become shiny. In severe cases, the affected body part may swell and, due to sympathetic nervous system dysfunction, the body part may perspire more than usual. Because of the pain the patient may not want to move the injured part. This leads to muscle wastage and a viscous cycle where stiffness and pain become worse. If the condition persists there may be adverse changes to the condition of the underlying bone Research and write in your own words.

The treatment of Sudeck’s disease requires patience and activities on the part of the subject. Most treatment occurs early, the chances of a cure. Menopausal women are most commonly affected by Sudeck’s disease.ds).

Sudeck's Atrophy Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Sudeck’s Atrophy?

Sudeck’s atrophy involves a disturbance in the sympathetic nervous system. The latter is the th Sudeck’s Atrophy e network of nerves that controls many bodily functions – and in the skin it is responsible for opening and closing blood vessels, and controlling sweat glands. In RSDS there is pain, as well as swelling and disability (often after injury) associated with other signs of sympatethic nerve dysfunction (initially warm and dry, and later cold and moist skin) in the affected area. It primarily affects the hands and feet. Research and write in your own words.

Sudeck’s Atrophy Symptoms

The clinical symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:

  • pain:
    • allodynia or hyperalgesia
    • out of proportion to the severity of the original injury
    • frequently described as ‘burning’
    • progressive
  • restlessness
  • stiffness in affected joints
  • altered hair growth
  • skin colour changes, due to alterations in skin blood flow
  • swollen limb

Clinical signs include evidence of abnormal sudomotor activity:

  • warmth of limb
  • excessive sweating
  • stiffness
  • oedematous limb, described as ‘brawny’
  • dry skin
  • nail changes

Sudeck’s Atrophy Causes

Sudeck’s atrophy may be caused by extremity injury after an accident (e.g. Fractures, contusions, sprains, burns), wound after surgery, local infection (abscess).

  • Enhanced physiotherapy after a quiescence after injury
  • Neurological disease
  • Spontaneous occurrence of Sudeck’s disease, without any apparent cause is rare.

Sudeck’s Atrophy Treatment

Sudeck’s atrophy treatment includes:

  • The patients’ needs referral to a pain clinic for long-term pain management.
  • Patients need support and encouragement that the disorder will eventually remit on its own.
  • Exercise and physiotherapy are important – mobility is preferred to rest to gradually increase the motion of the affected limb and preserve joint movement – otherwise stiffness may progress. A combination of physical and occupational therapy are effective in reducing pain and increasing function in patients who have had CRPS for less than 1 year. Physical therapy focuses on patient education about the condition and functional activities.
  • A TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) may help the pain.
  • Certain medications that act on the blood vessels (alpha blocking agents, calcium channel blockers, guenethidine) as well as calcitonin may be tried with limited success.
  • Standard NSAIDs and Cox-2 inhibitors can be tried.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation has also been proven to effective in treating Complex regional pain syndrome. International Research Foundation for RSD / CRPS.

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