Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a clinical syndrome of variable course and unknown cause characterized by pain, swelling, and vasomotor dysfunction of an extremity. This condition is often the result of trauma or surgery. In 1864, Mitchell referred to this malady as causalgia, a Greek word meaning burning pain. Newer taxonomy refers to RSD as a type of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which may develop after an initiating event such as trauma or surgery or may occur spontaneously.1 Under this classification, causalgia is a type of CRPS that develops after nerve injury. In patients with either of these conditions, sympathetic mediation of the pain (ie, improvement with sympathetic blockade) may or may not be evident.
Synonyms and related keywords:
reflex sympathetic dystrophy, RSD, causalgia, Sudeck's atrophy, Sudeck-Leriche syndrome, minor traumatic dystrophy, major traumatic dystrophy, shoulder-hand syndrome, neurovascular dystrophy, post-traumatic vasomotor disorder, sympathetic neurovascular dystrophy, post-traumatic vasospasm, postinfarct sclerodactyly, traumatic angiospasm, transient regional osteoporosis, algodystrophy, complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS
Revis, Goldberg & Weinstein 2007